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Norway Looks to Regulate Marketing of Unhealthy Foods to Children

July 16, 2013

The Norwegian Royal Ministry of Health and Care Services submitted a proposal with the European Commission (EC) to regulate the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children up to and including the age of 15 years. Unhealthy foods and beverages are defined in Annex 1 to the Draft Regulations. The purpose of these Regulations is to promote health by preventing obesity and diet-related diseases in the population.

Any assessment of whether marketing is aimed at children shall be based on an overall assessment in which weight may be attached to various factors, including:

a) whether the marketing involves a form of presentation, content or design that may particularly appeal to children due to, for example, its use of language, colors, effects or images,
b) the time and place of the marketing,
c) whether it involves the participation of children,
d) whether children are the target group for the marketing or medium being used,
e) the use of persons who may particularly appeal to children,
f) the use of animation or drawn characters that may particularly appeal to children,
g) the use of gifts, toys, coupons, discounts, collectibles, competitions or games that may particularly appeal to children."

Marketing is considered as any action taken for commercial purposes in order to promote sales to consumers, but does not include:

1. The production and placing on the market of products.
2. General arrangement of products in retail outlets.
3. Packaging and wrapping, unless it is used to tempt children into purchasing unhealthy foods and beverages by means of effects that are indicated in point g) of the second paragraph of section 4.
4. Sponsorship that only involves the use of the sponsor's name, trademark and logo.