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Vol. 22 - Num. 86

Special Articles

Parental freedom as a barrier to unhealthy food products aimed at children advertising

Francisco José Ojuelos Gómeza, Julio Basulto Marsetb

aAbogado. Salamanca. España .
bDietista nutricionista. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y el Bienestar. Universitat de Vic, Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC). Vic. Barcelona. España.

Correspondence: FJ Ojuelos. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Ojuelos Gómez FJ, Basulto Marset J. Parental freedom as a barrier to unhealthy food products aimed at children advertising. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2020;22:e65-e80.

Published in Internet: 11-06-2020 - Visits: 7225


It is unquestionable that children require protection against harmful practices. Minors are vulnerable to predatory and inherently exploitative marketing that occurs in a context of massive breach of the rules. Although parents do not have sufficient nutritional or health knowledge, they greatly value children’s health and change their buying habits when labeling clearly reveals the unhealthy elements of a product. The freedom of parents to refuse unhealthy foods is not an effective protection mechanism because the advertising message of unhealthy foods is usually misleading. Legally, placing the debate on the level of freedom is to falsify it because, prior to the moment of the election, there has been an infringement of the right to entrepreneurial freedom or to freedom of commercial speech, which only covers the realization of loyal, truthful and lawful advertising. Therefore, the situation of illegality in which advertising of unhealthy food has been installed must be removed: a continued violation of Article 4 of Regulation 1924/2006 and massive breaches of self-regulation code in fraud of the Spanish Nutrition Act. It should also limit the incitement, suggestion or invitation to carry out harmful activities when said character is falsified with suggestions that in other areas of the food presentation the Courts understand sufficient to produce a risk of confusion.


Food Food industry Legislation Marketing Obesity Parenting



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