Excerpts: Re: push-back on restricting Tony the Tiger || “This was a 50-year-old man talking about how important Tony the Tiger was. It just tells me how powerful [advertising] was, that even today, he has an emotional connection to that cartoon character… [t]hey know if they get brand loyalty at an early age they have a customer for life” – former Senator Nancy Greene Raine
“Half of food and drink advertisements children see on television are for junk food, sugary drinks and outlets such as McDonald’s, prompting fresh calls for tougher action to limit exposure to them.
The research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies comes amid calls for the government to impose much tougher restrictions on the ability of food manufacturers and retailers to advertise junk foods as part of a crackdown on childhood obesity”.
The lobbyist registry shows that a campaign against the bill has also been raging behind closed doors.
Soft drink manufacturers, industry associations, broadcasters and advertisers have been speaking with Senators and MPs about this bill.
I say again—why would these groups spend so much time, energy and money on this if marketing to kids doesn’t work?
Industry recognizes that the most powerful lobbyists are kids themselves. Parents know how tempting it is to give in when their children pester them for junk food at the grocery store. Even people without kids know full well how insistent they can be when they want something in a store. Children, like parliamentarians, can be very loud, very insistent and very difficult to distract.
Social media stars might be encouraging children to eat more unhealthy foods, new research suggests.
The study, conducted by the University of Liverpool, was devised amid growing calls for tougher restrictions on junk food advertising to tackle the obesity crisis. Read full article…
Leading obesity experts are considering litigation against the food industry in the light of emerging research suggesting that junk food marketing could hijack a child’s brain.
Neuromarketing is of growing interest to food companies. Fast food, soft drinks and snack companies increasingly interact with children through social media and online games. Some are beginning to probe further, gathering information through brain scans about how unconscious decisions are made to eat one snack rather than another and targeting people’s susceptibilities. A report on food neuromarketing to children by the Centre for Digital Democracy in 2011 predicted “an explosive rise in new tactics targeted especially at young people”.
Gallant is one of many trying to combat fast food, overly packaged food, overly processed food and the onslaught of fast-food marketing that is making Canada’s kids unhealthy.
Andrea Curtis, Toronto author of Eat This!: How Fast-Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and how to fight back), a playful, paperback guide for kids aged nine to 12, says one in three Canadian children is obese or overweight. “And we have skyrocketing rates of diabetes,” adds the mother of two teen boys.
“Fast-food marketing isn’t the only reason we have this crisis but if we can protect kids and educate them about healthy eating and have them ask key questions about fast-food marketing, fast food and sugary treats, we can change the toxic food environment.”
“The ethics of advertising anything to children has been long debated; a 1986 study looked at kids’ cognitive responses to advertising, finding younger kids were much more susceptible to advertising. Part of the problem with this marketing is that kids get hooked on food that isn’t great for them. Approximately 1 in 3 American children and teenagers is overweight or obese (mirroring the ratio of their adult parents), and research has shown junk food advertising contributes to the issue. Today, experts continue to study the practice of bombarding kids with food advertisements”.
Globe and Mail
Wilton Littlechild, Grand Chief of the Cree Nation, a residential school survivor, lawyer, and former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission writes a powerful OpEd published in today’s Globe and Mail on the intergenerational effect of residential schools and shifting food cultures. Littlechild proposes solutions to improve nutrition for Indigenous children including looking to tradition, positive role models and restricting junk food marketing to kids. Read article here…