Amsterdam bans unhealthy food ads aimed at kids in subway stations

Amsterdam is banning all ads about unhealthy foods that are aimed at children from subway stations in the city, the municipality announced in a press release on Monday. For this initiative, Amsterdam is partnering with the Alliance Stop Child Marketing.

The new call for advertisements in subway stations states that advertisers are not allowed to advertise unhealthy products aimed at children and teenagers, up to the age of 18 years. The new guidelines apply to all 58 subway stations in the city, including the new stations on the Noord-Zuid line. This ban takes effect on January 1st, 2018.

"Children have the right to grow up in a healthy environment. We as municipality want to contribute to that in all possible ways", Eric van der Burg, Amsterdam alderman for Health and Sports, said. "Advertising messages in the subway stations are re-tendered only once in 15 years. Therefore we must take this opportunity to exclude unhealthy advertising aimed at children and young people. In the past we used to see advertisements for cigarettes everywhere. Now we find it normal that we no longer expose children to it. Unhealthy food has to go the same way."

This ban forms part of a larger project against childhood obesity in the city. With the Healthy Weight approach, Amsterdam partnered with municipal health service GGD and many others in the fields of sport, healthy food, school, neighborhood, well being and public space to tackle obesity in children. This approach focuses both on preventing childhood obesity, and helping children who are already overweight.