Junk food marketers found targeting children on social media without repercussions

Medical XPress

A new study has found that while most major social media platforms have restrictions on the advertising of tobacco, alcohol and gambling to children, there are hardly any such restrictions in place around junk food. The study’s authors contend that the potential role of social media platforms in regulating junk food marketing has largely escaped attention. Read the article here

You can read the study here

Taxing sugar levels in soda could prevent 2 million US cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, study says

CNN

Taxes on sugary drinks, a new study has revealed, can lead to major health gains and reductions in health care costs — but just how much of a benefit they provide can vary by the design of the tax. Read the article here

Obesity researchers say Coke and Pepsi should stop targeting communities of color with ads

Fast Company 

Black children and teens see more than twice as many sugary drink ads (256 and 331 ads per year) as their white counterparts, according to a new report by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Sugary drinks are also heavily advertised on Spanish-language TV, particularly Coke and Gatorade; Powerade devotes a third of its TV ad dollars to Spanish-language TV. (Only 13% of Americans speak Spanish at home.) You can read the article here

You can read the study here

Physicians group calls for legislation to regulate digital advertising and its effect on kids

CNN

To help protect kids from the harmful effects of digital advertising and data collection, the American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on lawmakers to ban all advertising targeted to children under the age of 7. The group is urging limits to advertising aimed at those under 17.  Read the article here

 

 

Over 100 doctors call for tax on junk food to handle obesity epidemic

Metro Newspaper (UK) 

A group of around 200 doctors and healthcare professionals signed an open letter to ministers putting forward a number of proposals to overhaul the UK’s ‘unfair, unhealthy and unsustainable’ food system when the pandemic passes. This includes a tax on foods that are high in salt and fat, a tax on food derived from animal agriculture, subsidies for plant-based diets, a return of public sector catering to stop processed meat being served in schools and hospitals and that the ban on junk food advertising is accelerated and made total, banning such advertising even after the watershed. Read the article here

Top health official frets over higher alcohol, junk food use by Canadians during pandemic

The Province 

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam expressed concern over the higher consumption of alcohol and junk food during the coronavirus epidemic. “While social interactions and activities might look different right now, Canadians should be actively looking for safe ways to socialize, engage in physical activity and make … healthy food choices,” she said. Read the article here

 

Childhood Obesity: Research backs case for stricter advertising regulations

Food Navigator 

Fresh research across Europe suggests children are falling through the gaps of regulations aimed at preventing childhood obesity. Research in Spain and Slovenia shows that even legally binding measures, as they currently stand, are not enough to prevent childhood obesity. Read more here

 

Study of supermarket meals gives food for thought

Medical Xpress 
A recent study in Australia found that supermarket ready-to-eat-meals generally should have been classified as unhealthy, but still received a passing grade from the Health Star ranking system.  Lead researcher Dr. Claire Pulker from the School of Public Health at Curtin University said 54 percent of the meals were found to be unhealthy according to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. As more people are buying these products due to COVID-19, it is important that they understand the health risks. Read more

Obesity costing Western Australia $340 million per year

News. com. au 
Obesity is costing Western Australia’s health system close to $340 million a year, with experts renewing calls for a ban on junk food advertising. A report by WA’s Department of Health finds that health conditions related to excess body mass were responsible for 9.3 per cent of all hospitalizations in 2016. The report projects that by 2026, such hospitalizations will have risen by 54 per cent – and the costs to the health system increased to $610 million – unless the problem is addressed.  Read the article here

Kellogg’s pulls Pringles ad from Joe Wicks ‘PE with Joe’ YouTube show

The Guardian 
At the height of lockdown in April, a “pre-programme” ad for Pringles appeared to an unspecified number of the hundreds of thousands of children (and their parents) who tune in to PE with Joe exercise sessions online every weekday morning. Barbara Crowther, Children’s Food Campaign spokeswoman, said: “Placing this ad directly before Joe’s hugely popular children’s daily PE class is a total betrayal of his work, and highly insensitive, irresponsible marketing. Children don’t need more salt, more saturated fat, more sugar, more excess calories being pushed to them during a pandemic, or indeed at any time.” Read the article here