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

CNN 

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…

What is driving Australians’ unhealthy food habits

Medical Xpress

A new online tool brings together the best available data to describe Australia’s food environments, providing a clear picture of the ways that environment drives people, including children, to consume too many of the wrong types of foods. Australian children see more than twice as many ads for unhealthy food compared to healthy food on TV. And when kids are on their mobile devices, they are hit with as many as ten unhealthy foods and drink ads every hour. Read more

You can find the dashboard at https://foodenvironmentdashboard.com.au

Study exposes cognitive vulnerabilities to soft drink advertisements

News Medical Life Sciences 
A new study from Flinders University, published in Appetite, found participants who found it difficult to resist sweet drinks compared to non-sweetened control beverages (e.g., water) – were more responsive to the ads than those without these tendencies. The Australian study compared the ability of 127 university-age students (18-25 year olds) to withstand or succumb to the urge to reach for a soft drink when viewing television advertisements. Read more

Fears junk food regulation chilled by free trade agreements

Stuff NZ 

International free-trade agreements threaten to put a “chill” on junk food regulations, experts in NZ say as efforts to combat child obesity have stalled. Global obesity expert Boyd Swinburn, a professor of population nutrition and global health at the University of Auckland, said the trade agreements came through a “very undemocratic, non-transparent process”, and that the law needed to be strengthened so that public health was not badly affected by free-trade agreements. Read more

What Are We Feeding Our Kids? review – junk food exposé will leave you queasy 

The Guardian

In What Are We Feeding Our Kids?, Dr. Chris van Tulleken looks into the health effects – particularly for children – of the increasing consumption of ultra-processed food. It costs twice as much to get 100 calories from fresh fruit, vegetables and fish in the UK as it does to get them from readymade food.  Tim Rycroft, the chief operating officer of the Food and Drink Federation, gives the standard line about needing to ensure people are empowered to make “good choices”. Van Tulleken pushes back about how much choice there is in an environment where everything – availability, price, marketing and so on – is designed to push the consumer one way. Read more

The digital world is built on advertising. How do we help kids navigate it?

CNN 

Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioural pediatrician and media researcher at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital writes that adults need to understand the complicated ways that advertising shows up in apps and on video platforms and social media.  In particular, the aspects that aren’t visible, like data collection. Once understood the information can be translated to kids so that they can build critical thinking about the messages they are fed. Read more…

Junk food ads don’t just harm children’s health—they also infringe on their online privacy

The Counter 

Public health advocates have long criticized ads for unhealthy food as harmful to children’s health, but a new report by the Center for Digital Democracy, a nonprofit that advocates for stricter regulation of tech companies, makes the case that they may also infringe on kids’ privacy. “Global giants in the food and beverage industry are working together with leading tech companies to ensure that unhealthy brands and products are woven into the media and cultural experiences that dominate the lives of young people,” reads the report. Read more …

 

 

Queen’s Speech 2021: Junk food adverts to be banned completely online and on TV before 9pm

iNews

In the UK junk food adverts before 9 pm are set to be banned on television, along with a total ban online. The proposal was revealed in a briefing document that accompanied the Queen’s Speech, as she officially reopened the UK Parliament. Her Majesty announced that the Government would put the National Health Service at the forefront of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and, as part of that, introduce measures to tackle obesity. Read more …

Why we should think about junk food like cigarettes

GQ Magazine 

In his new book Hooked, Pulitzer-winning author Michael Moss looked at Big Food through the lens of addiction science. In this GQ interview, he makes the comparison between junk food and cigarettes, discusses health-washing – which makes it harder to tell the good stuff in the store from the bad stuff, and the omnipresence of food advertising in our environments. Read the interview

Obesity studies highlight severe COVID outcomes, even in young adults

Center for Infectious Disease Research Policy (University of Michigan) 

Two new, large studies from England and Mexico provide new details on obesity as a risk factor for poor COVID-19–related outcomes, including death. The study out of England published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, examined data for nearly 7 million English patients 20 years and older with available body mass index (BMI) values registered at an eligible general practice from Jan 24 to Apr 30, 2020. The second study out of Mexico was published in Epidemiology & Infection and analyzed data from 15,529 COVID-19 inpatients and outpatients in Mexico’s 32 states from the National COVID-19 Epidemiological Surveillance Study between Feb 24 and Apr 26, 2020. Read more on the studies