Bernama has the rest of the story is here.
In fact, the ministry had been thinking about doing this earlier this year. Read about it here.
Just after the ministry made known its plan in February, McDonald's Malaysia said the way to good health was not through banning fast food advertisements.
McDonald's Malaysia managing director Azmir Jaafar said this had been proven in Sweden, which banned such advertisements 13 years ago.
He said McDonald's, together with the Nutritional Society of Malaysia, Malaysian Dieticians' Society, media and advertisers' associations, had agreed to collaborate with the Health Ministry on the issue.
A meeting was scheduled with Dr Chua on March 5.
Read it here.
I have no idea if the meeting took place. If it did, then it must have not gone so well because the government is going ahead with its plan to ban the ads.
Now, back to today's announcement.
On the outset, it does seem like a responsible thing to do. However, I am not sure whether this will help instil good eating habits among children, as is intended.
Could we be missing the target here?
We're so good at banning things. If fast food is really the problem and the biggest impediment to our health, why don't we just ban fast food?
Teh tarik is bad, health wise. So why don't we just ban teh tarik in restaurants and mamak shops.
The fast foods that are advertised during children's programmes are not health food, I know. But they are not so bad or so unhealthy that they are anathema to us.
However, with any food or any thing in life, too much should, of course, not be encouraged.
Just like too much roti canai and too much teh tarik (loaded with condensed milk). Not good.
But I forget, nobody advertises teh tarik and roti canai on TV.
I think if we want to help Malaysian kids eat well, it is not by banning the ads.
If we are really serious, we should be more proactive and do more substantive things that will yield long-term results.
I call my youngers sisters and my nieces as well as nephews, the MacDonalds generation. I, myself grew up on KFC and A&W hotdogs.
I am sure there is a whole generation of Malaysians whom we could call the "fast food" generation. And among some of them are very obese people.
But fast food had not been all that we had. Surely not.
Perhaps, it may work this ban on fast food ads. Perhaps, if children do not see the ads, they will forget about fast food and banish it from their thoughts, from their minds.
Perhaps, their daily diet of rice or pasta no longer has to compete with fast food.
Perhaps too, while at school, kids can turn to their canteen for good and healthy food. Or can they?