South Korea is considering banning daytime TV commercials for fast food and soft drink vending machines in schools in an effort to tackle obesity in children.
The Ministry of Health also plans to demand that fast food and soft drink companies include dietary information on their products, including number of calories and fat content. The new rules will go into effect next month.
"Restricting fast food commercials is a mid- or long-term plan to tackle obesity," said Choi Sung-rak, head of the ministry's health policy team. The number of overweight Koreans is increasing year by year.
A person is defined as overweight when the body mass index -- weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared - exceeds 25.
The percentage of overweight Koreans climbed to 36 percent of the population from 22.2 percent in 1995. The rate of overweight female and male children doubled to 15.4 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, in the last three years, UPI reports.