In the US, one-third of adults are categorized as obese and about two-thirds fall into the category of being overweight. By comparison, in France just slightly more than 9 percent of citizens are obese and fewer than a third are overweight. Still, recently the French government has taken the pro-active stance of ordering food ads to carry cautions telling the French to stop snacking, do more exercise and eat more healthily.
Attempting to avoid the U.S. plight, other European countries have similar restrictions in place. Sweden and Norway already forbid broadcast advertising aimed at children. Ireland has imposed a ban on TV ads for candy and fast food. They also prohibit using celebrities and sports stars to promote junk food to children. Britain has also mandated nutritional guidance for food packages.
France’s new health rules affect advertisements on television, radio, billboards and the Internet for processed, sweetened or salted food and beverages. Companies that refuse to run the messages are fined 1.5 percent of the cost of the ad. The money goes to the National Institute for Health Education. Apparently the coca cola company has complied in France. A coke ad seen on a billboard in France recently read: "For your health, eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day."