MoH launches code regulating F&B marketing to children

James Kon

The Health Promotion Centre (HPC) of Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the Code on Responsible Marketing of Food and Beverages to Children in Brunei Darussalam to reduce and manage unhealthy food advertisement and marketing to children.

The code is based on three principles – marketing of food and beverages must be made with social responsibility to consumers and the community; marketing of food and beverages to children cannot make use of their credulity, vulnerability or lack of knowledge and use of fear to mislead or deceive them; and popular characters or personalities should not be used in marketing food and beverages that undermine healthy diet.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar launched the code.

The advertisement of food and beverages have heavy influence on children’s choice, demand and consumption pattern and is identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a risk factor of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among children.

The MoH began working with stakeholders to produce the code under Giving Every Child the Best Start in Life of the MoH’s Strategic plan 2019-2023, in line with WHO’s call to curb obesity among children.

Head of HPC Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim said the work to produce the code began in 2018 after several surveys regarding advertising of unhealthy food and beverages. It was followed by dialogue sessions with private and government agencies as well as food and beverage operators.

To help enforcement agencies and operators in the food and beverage industry understand the code, the ministry will disseminate information on the code in several sessions.

Acting Permanent Secretary at the MoH Dr Haji Zulaidi bin Haji Abdul Latif, Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Haji Mohammad Rosli bin Haji Ibrahim; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Managament) at the MoH Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin were also present at the event.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar presents a copy of the Code on Responsible Marketing of Food and Beverages to Children in Brunei Darussalam to a recipient. PHOTO: JAMES KON