Heavy opposition to London’s junk food ad ban uncovered

Sustainweb. org 

New research from the University of Bath reveals that companies mounted strong opposition behind the scenes to the London policy to restrict advertising for high fat, salt and sugar products across the transport network. Companies opposed the policy through official channels as well as trying to influence through more direct approaches such as informal calls. In one case, KFC invited a Childhood Obesity Taskforce member on a ‘magical mystery tour’ of London eateries and a tour of Brixton. Read more

Healthy diets linked to better mental health and wellbeing

Medical Xpress 

A healthy diet was linked to better mental health and wellbeing, highlighting the need for more strategies to warn families off junk food, according to a new study. The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that diets high in inflammatory foods were associated with poorer mental wellbeing in children aged 11 to 12 years. Highly processed foods, including those high in sugar or salt, are known to cause inflammation and negatively affect physical health. Read more


Sugary UK children’s yoghurts named and shamed by researchers

The Guardian 

Nearly two-thirds of the yogurts marketed at children provide at least a third of a four- to six-year-old’s maximum daily intake of added sugars, according to research that calls for a ban on child-friendly packaging. Katharine Jenner, the campaign director at Action on Sugar, said: “Clever marketing techniques such as advertising, promotions and packaging are powerful tools to get children hooked on the sweet stuff from a young age and for life.” Read more



Obesity among children ages 5 to 11 rises during the pandemic

Washington Post 

Childhood obesity rose significantly during the pandemic, according to a new study that analyzed electronic health records for nearly 200,000 young people in the Kaiser Permanente health network in Southern California. The greatest change was among children ages 5 to 11, who gained an average of more than five pounds, adjusted for height, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network. For the average 5-year-old (about 40 pounds), that’s a 12.5 percent weight gain. Read more


Harmful marketing threatens children’s right to healthy food

Devex .com 

Will Brett Harding argues that a child rights-based approach would demonstrate the universality of harmful commercial marketing to children, and of the need to protect children from products that cause harm, as we know unhealthy food and beverages do. Read more

Bite Back 2030 – a youth led campaign against junk food – team up with Dulwich Hamlet Football Club 

Brixton Buzz 

As part of their campaign to end the link between junk food advertising and sport Bite Back has teamed up with the club to set an example to others of what can be done to promote child health instead. The deal was announced after a summer working hard to highlight the extent to which sport is being used to give junk food a starring role in children’s minds, from Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Olympics to the cricket Hundred, where the players are dressed up as giant crisp packets. Read more


If You Think Kids Are Eating Mostly Junk Food, A New Study Finds You’re Right


Two-thirds — or 67% — of calories consumed by children and adolescents in 2018 came from ultra-processed foods, a jump from 61% in 1999, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the medical journal JAMA. Read more 


School routes swimming in junk food ads

Medical Xpress
A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health revealed that of the 4016 advertisements observed along 7 bus, walking and train routes to 4 Perth high schools almost half were for food and 80 percent advertised junk food.  Only 8 per cent advertised healthy foods. Read more

Adolescents bombarded with junk food marketing on social media 

Medical Xpress
According to new research from the University of Wollongong, for every hour that an Australian child spends online on their phone, they view more than 17 food and drink ads, a figure that is almost nine times higher than their exposure via tv advertising. Associate Professor Bridget Kelly, the lead researcher on the study, said the rate of promotion for unhealthy food was 50 times higher than the rate for healthier products. Read more

Skipping a trip to the grocery store may lead to fewer junk food purchases


Study participants who ordered their groceries online spent less money on junk food compared to when they shopped in person, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Lead study author Laura Zatz, a senior adviser at The Behavioural Insights Team, said “Online shopping allows shoppers to avoid abundant in-store marketing and enticing food stimuli, which encourages us to add items to our basket that we didn’t plan to purchase,” she said. Read more…