We are closer than ever to a huge victory against childhood obesity.
On December 12th, 2012 the State Legislature in Sao Paulo (Alesp) - most populous State in Brazil - approved two new bills that deal with protecting children, their health and their right to healthful nutrition. One of the bills prohibits restaurants from selling toys or collectibles along with their meals. The other bill prohibits advertisement of unhealthy foods on radio and TV from 6am-9pm, and also in public or private schools.
The two bills are now waiting for the Governor of the State of Sao Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, to sanction them. And he has only until the end o January to do it.
If approved, these bills will raise the bar in the fight against childhood obesity. The State of Sao Paulo, with 41 million inhabitants, can set a new standard and serve as an example in protecting children in the fight against obesity.
Around 30% of all Brazilian children are now overweight and 15% obese. And even though 76% of Brazilian parents are in favor of some type regulation of advertisement directed to children, their is no legislation, nationwide, that regulates marketing to kids.
Governor Geraldo Alckmin has an unique opportunity to take matter in his own hands, and serve as an example to the world.
With only two signatures of Governor Geraldo Alckmin history can be made in Sao Paulo. Will you support us in this effort?
As a doctor, you know the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and the effects a poor diet has on the growth and development of children. As a father, you know how hard it is to educate our children to the importance of a healthy diet, even more so with many ads geared to children that promote a salty, sugary, fat saturated unhealthy diet. As the Governor, you know the impact of obesity-related illness to the State´s budget.
These bills are essential to protect our children against obesity and all the illness associated to it. They will set a new standard in the fight against childhood obesity, and make São Paulo a pioneer in Brazil and across the globe. Data by IBGE shows that 30% of Brazilian children are overweight and around 15% are already obese. And the public opinion is for it, as 76% of adults approve some sort of regulation of ads geared to children.
For all of the above, I ask that the bills 193/2008 and 1096/2011 are sanctioned immediately.