China's top broadcast watchdog has tightened control over production of health-related TV programs, a move it says will provide viewers with better, more scientific health information.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued a circular on Tuesday saying such programs can only be produced by TV station personnel. The regulator also banned all advertisements during such programs.
Health programs in the form of health experts and doctors offering advice on how to prevent illness have gained popularity in recent years. Because the programs are relatively cheap to make, they can be the prime form of entertainment of local television stations.
The regulator said in some cases the health programs can be potentially harmful, with TV stations exaggerating the effects of medicine or medical devices in order to make a profit from the program.
It said TV stations lacking funds and proper experts should not make health-related programs. Experts on the programs must have qualifications issued by health authorities.
Celebrities hosting such programs was also banned.
Such programs will be required to be review and put on record. Those which violate the regulation won't be allowed on air, the circular said.
The regulation will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.