Improper food marketing to children can contribute to increasing rate of obesity among children. According to the Minister of Health, based on a research regarding Advertising and Marketing Practices of Food and Beverages to Children in December 2020, 90 per cent of parents, guardians and representatives from food and beverage industry as well as advertising and marketing agencies said the industry has a vital role in controlling exposure and influence of unhealthy food and beverage advertisement and marketing to children in the country. Speaking at the launching of the Food and Beverage Marketing Code for children in Brunei Darussalam, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jafar explained social media is among the platforms or advertisement and marketing channels that is frequently used to advertise unhealthy food and beverages in the country.
Yang Berhormat said nearly all parents and guardians agreed that the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam needs monitor regulations on advertising and marketing food and beverages that are high in sodium, sugar and saturated fats to children. Meanwhile, 82 point 5 per cent of parents and guardians agreed that the marketing code will help to reduce obesity rate among children in the country. For Brunei Darussalam, drafting the code is identified as one of the cross-sectoral actions under the initiative of the Multisectoral Task Force for health, namely Giving Child the Best Start in Life. It is also listed under the Ministry of Health's Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023, specifically in achieving the goals of preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases.
With the code, it is hoped to guide entrepreneurs and operators in the food and beverage industry as well as the advertisement and marketing industries so that it can create a sense of responsibility on marketing procedures for food and beverage products to children. The code can also become a beneficial source of reference for lawmakers and stakeholders. It will be implemented in stages via various platforms such as printed media, advertisement boards, movie theatres, news website, radio and television channels. Adherence to the code is voluntary at the moment, however relevant stakeholders as well vendors are highly encouraged to comply and practise the code.
Source: Radio Television Brunei