Spain has launched a new law to curb the sale of “junk” food, snacks and drinks in the country’s schools to tackle growing obesity rates, the Health Ministry announced on Friday (September 3).

The legislation seeks to promote “healthy” food menus in schools and will force the food industry to use new technologies to minimise trans-fat content in food products aimed at school children.

According to the ministry, 9.13% of kids under 15 are obese and 18.4% are overweight. Advertising campaigns to promote healthy nutritional habits with youngsters will also be launched.

Ministry teams will monitor schools’ lunch menus to ensure they meet the new law while a “nutrition and obesity observatory” or regulatory agency will also be established to monitor the initiative’s progress.

Mexico, which has the world’s highest child obesity rates, recently launched a similar, yet much tougher legislative package, to tackle the problem in the country.