/ 9 July 2023

SENATE Committee on Health Chairman Christopher ‘Bong’ Go urged the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen and closely monitor advertising campaigns promoting food containing high levels of saturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, and salt.

Go made the appeal after the recommendation of the World Health Organization for governments worldwide to enact stringent policies to protect children from advertisements which significantly impact their dietary choices.

“We are seeing an alarming rise in diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity, particularly in our youth. There is a critical need to regulate the aggressive marketing of food and beverages that have been proven to negatively influence the dietary norms among children,” Go said referring to HFSS food that are ‘High in Fat, Salt and Sugar’, such as junk food.

Go expressed his concern about specific marketing techniques targeting children and said it is time the government put a stronger emphasis on the health of children and regulate the type of food being marketed to them.

“The government must categorize and determine which food products should be limited in their marketing. This will enable us to effectively regulate advertisements on various media platforms,” suggested Go.

According to WHO, food advertisements have an adverse effect on the development of children’s norms about food consumption.

Go hopes his appeal will push for the reinforcement of such policies and lead to healthier consumption habits among the youth.

He urged the public to remain vigilant about the food it consumes and encourages everyone to participate in the campaign against unhealthy food marketing.

“Let us all work together towards a healthier Philippines. Our future depends on it. Alagaan natin ang kalusugan ng mga kabataan dahil sila ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan,” Go emphasized.