The Mexican government intends to ban during children's television programming advertisements for soft drinks and foods that do not comply with nutritional requirements, according to the head of the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks.

The decision comes within the framework of government efforts to reduce child obesity, Mikel Arriola said in an interview published Monday by the daily El Universal.

The new regulation will enter into force next year by means of a decree that will also establish a children's TV broadcasting schedule.

"In advertising targeting children, soft drinks, french fries, candy (and) chocolate will not be able to be advertised, giving Mexico the most efficient standard in terms of advertising," Arriola said.

"Only products with the nutritional seal of quality will be able to be advertised during those time periods," he added.

The decision was made known amid a heated nationwide debate on the levying of new taxes on soft drinks and "junk" food proposed by the government to reduce the country's obesity index.

According to figures compiled by the federal health department, seven out of every 10 adults in Mexico are overweight, while the proportion is greater than 30 percent in the 12-19 age group and 29 percent among kids 5-11. EFE