Health Minister missed the point in banning fast food ads

 I told OrientalDaily in my tele-interview yesterday that Health Minister Chua Soi Lek has missed the point when he talked about the banning of fast food advertisements. In my opinion, the minister does not understand what he was talking about.To begin with, Chua would have a tough time to prove that all the different kinds of fast food being sold in the market were unhealthy or “not nutritious”, and hence losing his ground of justification.

Chua should be focusing his energy on improving the standard of public health service which is said to be declining in the country.

He also owes the Malaysian NGOs an explanation on the pending privatisation of public health service. 

Orientaldaily has the story… 

業者批蔡細歷言論「外行人看內行事」

– Wednesday, February 21, 2007

 (吉隆坡20日訊)在衛生部探討落實禁止媒體刊登快餐廣告之際,廣告業者卻非議這項措施可行性欠奉,屬于「外行人看內行事」的另一敗筆。

衛生部長拿督斯里蔡細歷日前相繼接受各報「專訪」,放話說該部將禁止快餐業者在媒體刊登廣告,以讓普羅大眾警覺快餐對人體健康的危害性。

不過,廣告業者對此不表認同。在廣告界服務超過20年的行動黨非政府組織局主任劉天球說,蔡氏的本意是好,但在此事的態度卻顯得不對,發表的言論也存有問題。

他接受《東方日報》訪問時表示,就算市面上某些快餐存有不健康的成份,但不代表全部快餐都對人體有害,而且同樣品牌下的各式快餐烹調的材料與成份不同,有害程度也相異。

「蔡細歷不能一竹竿打翻整船人。市面上有形形色色的快餐,難道漢堡包和麵包也不健康?」

劉天球說,蔡細歷該番言論猶如「外行人看內行事」,相信有關措施也難以推行,因此廣告業者對此並不感到特別擔心。

據報導,馬廣告代理公會(4As)主席拿督李福龍對此也有異議。他認為,全面禁止媒體刊登快餐廣告的措施,並不可行。

他說,就算在歐美國家,也沒有全面禁止快餐廣告的做法。

他強調,目前已有廣告代理和客戶,試驗性地「自我控制」快餐廣告,比如把目標群鎖定在7歲以上的食客。

此外,該報也引述大馬營養學協會主席鄭怡祥博士談話,指快餐愛好者並不會因為廣告的關係,而減少快餐食用量。

他認為,與其禁止快餐廣告,倒不如從教育著手,灌輸國人良好的營養吸收知識。

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