Research reveals that much of the control over food and beverage advertising rests solely on the industry’s self-regulation
Dejusticia researched what measures the Colombian State is taking to control advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages in children, and identified the regulatory gaps that exist to suggest key areas of state regulation.
Scientific studies in recent decades have shown how unhealthy foods contribute to rising obesity, and the role of advertising as a risk factor in the consumption of such foods and beverages, particularly in children.
In Colombia, however, little is known about this issue. In “Without rules nor controls, regulation of advertising of food and beverages directed at minors” researcher Diana Guarnizo looked at the measures that the Colombian State is taking to regulate this kind of advertising.
The study documents the existing regulations in the country and identifies regulatory gaps in order to suggest key areas of state regulation. Despite the existence of some standards, the document finds that in most key areas, there is no regulation for advertising and marketing of food and beverages, or, if it exists, it is minimal and inefficient. Much of the control over food and beverage advertising rests with the industry’s self-regulation mechanisms, which raises serious questions about its effectiveness.
The analysis seeks to be useful for consumer associations, civil organizations that promote the right to health, parents, healthy eating scholars, and, in general, public policymakers interested in the subject.