When kids watch a lot of TV, parents may end up more stressed

Science Daily 
The more TV kids watch, the more ads they see and the more likely they are to ask for things on shopping trips. That may contribute to parents’ overall stress levels, researchers found. Read the article

UK to ban all online junk food advertising to tackle obesity

The Guardian 
Research has found that one in three children leaving primary school are overweight, or obese, as are almost two-thirds of adults in England. “This would be a world-leading policy to improve children’s health,” said Fran Bernhardt, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign. “Online adverts have cast unhealthy food in the starring role for far too long. The current regulations are inadequate to protect children. Companies advertising healthier foods have nothing to fear.” Read the article

Consumption of ultra-processed foods in Canada

Statistics Canada 
A new Statistics Canada study found that the overall dietary share of ultra-processed foods remains high among Canadians, accounting for more than half of the daily energy intake among children and teenagers in 2015 (the most recent year for which data was available). However, dietary energy contributions of soft drinks, fruit juices and fruit drinks declined between 2004 and 2015, particularly among children and adolescents. Read the study

Are ‘Kidfluencers’ Making Our Kids Fat?

New York Times
Kid influencers are marketing unhealthy food and sugary beverages to children, racking up billions of page views. In a new study in the journal, Pediatrics researchers viewed the top 50 kid influencer videos on YouTube and found that 9 out of 10 featured unhealthy foods. Nearly 1 in 3 promoted a fast-food chain.  Read the article Are ‘Kidfluencers’ Making Our Kids Fat?

Television advertising limits can reduce childhood obesity, study concludes

Science Daily 
Limiting the hours of television advertising for foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) could make a meaningful contribution to reducing childhood obesity, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Oliver Mytton of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues. Researchers estimate the ban would cut childhood obesity by 40,000 and save the UK £7.4billion in lost productivity. One in three children in England leaves primary school overweight, increasing their risk of cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes substantially.  Read the article

Efficacy of “High in” Nutrient Specific Front of Package Labels—A Retail Experiment with Canadians of Varying Health Literacy Levels

Nutrients

Health Canada put forward a regulatory proposal in 2018 to introduce regulations requiring a “High in” front-of-package label (FOPL) on foods that exceed predetermined thresholds for sodium, sugars, or saturated fat. This study evaluated the efficacy of the proposed FOPL as a quick and easy tool for making food choices that support reduction in the intakes of these nutrients. Overall, FOPL was significantly more effective than current labeling at helping consumers of varying HL levels to identify foods high in nutrients of concern and make healthier food choices. All FOPL were equally effective. Read the article

Viewpoint: Nutrient warnings on Unhealthy Foods

JAMA Network 
Unhealthy diets, characterized by overconsumption of ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks, increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. A nutrient warning policy is a common-sense response to rising rates of diet-related disease. Nutrient warnings could help inform consumers, encourage the food industry to make healthier products, benefit public health, counteract certain industry marketing practices, and potentially improve health equity. Read the article

Marketers are gathering data on your kids from the apps they use, study finds

CNN 
A new U.S. study analyzed how developers collect and share personal digital information while children are using many of the tens of thousands of digital apps created for kids — a trend that is on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic as more and more children shelter and study at home. “My colleagues and I found that 67% of the apps played by 3- to 4-year-old children collected these sorts of digital identifiers — mobile serial numbers or ID codes that can be traced back to the device’s owner — and shared them with ‘third party’ marketing companies,” said lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Read the article here

Social media groups urged to block ads targeting teens

Financial Times

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

Why nutrition advice keeps changing

Psychology Today 

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