How TV Food Marketing Research in Malaysia supports the MyIklan Logo in Malaysia

Seminar no. 1254
6 March Time 12.30 – 13.30 hrs.

Speaker: Dr. Sameeha Mohd Jamil (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)

The prevalence of overweight and obese among Malaysian are worrying, with one in two adults in Malaysia are overweight/obese, according to NHMS 2019. Hence, Ministry of Health Malaysia has formed a Task Force to Combat Obesity in Malaysia chaired by Deputy Director General of Health (Public Health) with members from several ministries, professional bodies and NGOs. The roles of this taskforce are to identify the root causes of the obesity problem in Malaysia and to materialize the Plan of Action to combat obesity in Malaysia incorporating food habits and physical activities of the Malaysian. A series of meetings involving stakeholders from the relevant ministries, professional bodies and NGOs have been undertaken to discuss the prioritization of potential policy options to address obesity. As a result, a total of 26 food policy options, 29 physical activity policy options and 3 overarching policy options were presented and approved by the Obesity Task Force to Combat Obesity in Malaysia to be the potential policy options to combat obesity in Malaysia. Of particular interest in today’s presentation is the ‘’Banning of television advertising of foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and sodium that is appealing to children, whereby it involves the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia and Association of Accredited Advertising Agents of Malaysia. In 2018, a group of researchers, NGOs and academicians including me were invited by the Nutrition Division, Ministry of Health to set a criteria for banning of advertisement, of which different sets of criterias from WHO, SEARO and WPRO were used. A series of research findings, mainly from Prof Tilakavati and Dr Ng See Hoe on TV food marketing in Malaysia supported the ministry’s decision to come up with this ‘agreed’ set of criterias to be presented to the industry. Following the Ministry of Health’s meeting with the industry, they came back to us to share the industry’s request. Another research findings from Prof Tilakavati looking at TV Food Marketing, almost 10 years after the 1st research findings were presented to MOH. This leads to MyIklan, a project, which is at its initial stage, to welcome the industry to apply for this logo which is voluntary and involves a set of criteria for them to be able to advertise on Malaysian television.

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