Cereal numbers may be deceiving

Reuters (appeared in the Montreal Gazette)

Parents may allow kids to eat too much sugary breakfast cereal because the suggested serving size is smaller than they realize, a new U.S. study suggests. The cereals with the most sugar also tend to have child-oriented marketing such as mascots, games, colours and fun shapes, researchers found in a study of brands that have pledged to help reduce added sugars in kids’ diets. “When you compute the amount of sugar by weight of the cereal, the sugar content is quite high and higher than federal recommendations,” said Jennifer Emond of the Dartmouth School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H., who wasn’t involved in the study. Read the article here

You can find the study here (paywall)

‘Broad support’ for taxes on unhealthy food in Germany

Food Navigator

In an online survey, researchers from the Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products research group at the University of Gottingen asked consumers about various measures currently under discussion, such as advertising bans on children’s food with high sugar content, or sugar and soft drink taxes.  Overall, 60% of those surveyed were in favour of nutrition policy action by the state.  Read more here

 

Path from junk food to poor decisions drawn by Western University researchers

The London Free Press

In a paper published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health this month, researchers found that too many calorie-dense foods can lead to changes in the part of the brain that controls self-regulation, decision-making and reward-seeking. Adolescence, the researchers found, is a time of “dual susceptibility,” when teens are still developing their ability to make decisions, which leads to a lack of self-control when it comes to junk food. And all that junk food may lead to changes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the last area to develop, Reichfelt referred to the prefrontal cortex as “the manager of the brain” because it controls behaviour. Read more here

Sydney kids face up to 2800 ads for junk food on school run each year

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney students view up to 2800 advertisements for junk food while travelling to and from school each year prompting Cancer Council NSW to call for a ban on such ads being displayed on government property. Research, published by the Sax Institute on Tuesday, examined the likely commutes of attendees at 21 Sydney primary and high schools, totalling 23,000 students. Read the article here

 

Trevor Hancock: Standing up to help secure our children’s future

The Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC)

Trevor Hancock discusses the health impacts of poverty and inequality, and commercial activities like marketing to kids that harm children. Both were included in A Future for the World’s Children?, the February 2020 report from the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission. Read the article here

Teens ‘especially vulnerable’ to junk food advertising, experts say

ABC News

The inundation of junk food advertising is contributing to the rising rate of teen obesity — a public health crisis among a population that is “especially vulnerable” to the messaging, experts say. In 2016 alone, the food industry spent almost $14 billion on overall advertising to influence Americans’ food choices. The U.S. food system is the second-largest advertiser in the American economy, and views adolescents as a major market force, aggressively targeting them to build brand awareness, preference and loyalty. Read more here

 

“Sugar Tax” being Applauded by Health Advocate Groups in BC

Radio NL

Dr. Tom Warshawski is praising the BC government’s decision to add the “sugar tax” to soft drinks, but believes more could be done. “I think taxes on sugary products are important, but it should be an excise tax that only the federal government can do. But, these types of discussions are really important because there’s a lot of marketing around drinking sugary drinks, in favour of it and kids are bombarded by it.” Read the article here

See also The Globe and Mail (subscriber paywall)|  Doctor says B.C.’s tax on sugary drinks will help kids lose weight, improve health 

Are Foods Labeled ‘Low Sugar’ Misleading Consumers?

New York Times

A recent study that examined millions of grocery store purchases in the United States found that dubious claims about sugar, salt and fat were common. Many fruit juices that claimed to be low in sugar, for example, tended to have added sugars and more sugar than comparable juices with no claims on them. Some breakfast cereals labeled low in calories had more calories than the cereals that did not make calorie claims. Read the article here.

B.C. Budget 2020: High-income earners, pop drinkers to pay more taxes

Vancouver Sun

The government will end a Provincial Sales Tax exemption on sugary drinks, such as pop, starting July 1. Adding the seven-per-cent PST to such beverages will generate more than $30 million annually. “I think it’s interesting if you take a look at the largest consumption of pop, sweetened drinks, it is 14 to 18 year olds,” said Finance Minister Carole James. “We want to make sure we’re doing our part to set them on the stage of having a healthy life ahead.” Read more.

A little scoop: Unilever will stop marketing to kids in an effort to curb childhood obesity

Washington Post

Food giant Unilever has vowed to stop marketing its products to children by the end of this year in order to tackle rising obesity rates. The firm said it would limit the use of cartoon characters in its advertising and also promised to stop using social media stars or celebrities “who primarily appeal” to children under 12.   Read the article.