Facebook, Google and other tech platforms should stop allowing advertisements to be targeted at teenagers, said a group of leading academics, lawyers and privacy campaigners in the UK. Restrictions are already in place on targeting teenagers with alcohol and gambling advertisements, but the signatories to the letter said all targeted advertising should stop. “The problem isn’t just age-inappropriate ads,” said Oliver Hayes, policy and campaigns lead at the charity Global Action Plan. “It’s that targeted ads are inherently exploitative and manipulative, regardless of content.” Read the article here
Over time, scientists are developing a better understanding of how food affects us. Nutrition is a fairly young science; the first studies tracking what people ate came in the late 1800s. We’re watching it grow up. Read the article here
Using the University of Toronto’s Food Label Information Program database, researchers analyzed products from 2013 to 2017 and found most (76.6%) did not undergo changes in sugar levels, 12.4% had a decrease in total sugar and 11% had an increase in total sugar contents. You can read the article here
Alcohol, gambling and junk food brands are still targeting their advertising at channels aimed at children, according to a new study by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA has found that 159 age-restricted ads broke the advertising rules in its first of four monitoring exercises. The organisation has published the findings from its latest online monitoring sweep in order to help it identify and tackle age-restricted ads appearing in children’s media. Read more . . .
After a period of improvement, U.S. kids are eating as much fast food as they were in the early 2000s, new government figures show. Researchers found that between 2003 and 2010, there was a decline in U.S. kids’ intake of fast-food calories — dipping from an average of 14% of daily calories, to just under 11%. By 2018, that figure was back up to 14%. Read the article here
Food manufacturers have spent a good part of the past century figuring out how to get kids to convince their parents to spend money, and they’ve gotten very good at it. New York University professor Marion Nestle, who has been following the issue for decades, told me she hears from parents about junk food marketed to children all the time. Read the article here
The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has banned the sale of sugary drinks and high-calorie snack foods to children – a measure aimed at curbing obesity. The bill puts sugary items into the same category as cigarettes and alcohol. “It’s important to finally put the brakes on this industry, which has already sickened our country and our children,” said Magaly López Domínguez, the Oaxaca lawmaker who presented the bill. “[The industry] gets into the most remote corners of the state” – known for its mountainous topography – “where there’s often not even medicines, but there’s Coca-Cola.” Read the article here
Buy one get one free deals on unhealthy food will be banned as part of the government’s bid to tackle obesity in England. The plan also includes restrictions on where foods high in fat and sugar can be promoted in-store, and new rules for displaying calories on menus. A ban on junk food adverts before 21:00 has been confirmed – for the whole UK. Boris Johnson said the plans would help “reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus”. Read the story here