Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/9360
Ethical Evaluation of a Proposed Statutory Regulation of Food Advertising Targeted at Minors in Spain
Public Health Ethics 2016;9:312-27
Food advertising targeted at children is associated with the development of unhealthy eating habits and childhood obesity. In Spain, where one in every three children suffers from overweight, a voluntary regulation mechanism has been adopted to control such advertising, despite evidence of its ineffectiveness. This study's stated objective was to evaluate the grounds for implementing a policy that would ban the advertising of energy-dense, nutrient-poor (EDNP) food and beverages targeted at children in Spain, incorporating an ethical perspective in the analysis. Using a bibliographic search of various databases, we reviewed the evidence for answering the seven questions posed by Walton et al. 's ethical evaluation framework, drawn up on the basis of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Stewardship model. The results show that the proposed intervention is cost-effective, minimally intrusive, promotes healthy environments, acts on a vulnerable population, helps children lead healthy lifestyles, reduces social health inequalities, increases parents' individual freedom of choice and enjoys the support of scientists, health professionals and consumers alike. Accordingly, we feel that the time has come for food advertising directed to children in Spain to be statutorily regulated, by banning the promotion of EDNP products.
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