Can you trust industry-funded nutrition research?


Marion Nestle the author of Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat, notes that the average consumer can find it hard to differentiate between between industry-funded nutrition studies and independent ones, and she believes that the public needs to be educated about the sources of nutrition research to make informed choices about food. Read article here

Study: 88% of children’s foods don’t meet WHO’s nutritional standards

Food Dive

Charlene Elliott, a researcher at the University of Calgary found most foods in Canada targeted to children haven’t nutritionally improved despite World Health Organization guidelines restricting marketing based on sugar, fat and salt content. She concluded stricter marketing guidelines are needed for children’s food products. Read Food Dive brief here.

You can read her study here.

Push for junk food ad ban so kids won’t be tempted on train to school

The Age (Victoria, Australia)

Junk food companies have been accused of targeting children on their way to school as pressure mounts on the Victorian government to ban ads on state-owned property. More than a quarter of the ads children pass on the train as they head to school are for unhealthy foods including chips, doughnuts and ice cream, according to new research by the Obesity Policy Coalition. Read here.

Canada tops global survey for having the most sodium in packaged foods

Of the 12 jurisdictions covered by an analysis of 400,000 packaged food and drink products, Canada led the pack when it came to sodium content. Canadian packaged foods averaged 291 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams of food or beverage, ahead of the U.S. at 279 milligrams per 100 grams. Read article here.

You can find the survey results here.

What are the implications of advertising to children?

UK nutritionist Hannah Skeggs explores the impacts of advertising high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) products to children. Despite increasing airtime given to health campaigns, advertisements for less healthy products still dominate airtime. A recent survey of 7-11 year olds by Cancer Research & University of Liverpool found that each hour children spent watching TV was linked to a 22% increased chance of children asking for food they’d seen advertised. Read article here.

Jamie Oliver ‘revolutionized’ school lunches… so why are they still so unhealthy?

The Independent UK

School food policy has failed to sustain quality nutrition – particularly in secondary schools. Researchers from the Jamie Oliver Foundation were alarmed to find many schools are still serving high-fat and sugary foods at break and lunch – including pasties, pizza, doughnuts, muffins and cookies, often in large portion sizes. Read article here.

junk food marketing: new resources show how the industry targets communities of color

Berkeley Media Studies Group

Junk food and soda companies often aggressively market their least healthy items to low-income communities and communities of color, especially youth — the very groups that have been the hardest hit by the current epidemic of nutrition-related disease. Read blog post here.

Dietitian Breaks Down Andrew Scheer’s Food Guide Comments

HuffPost Canada

An interview with Kate Comeau, a dietitian and spokesperson for Dietitians of Canada, who debunks the myths in Andrew Scheer’s recent comments on the Canada Food Guide. Read OpEd here

Latin America’s war on obesity could be a model for U.S.

The Washington Post 

Latin American countries have introduced a number of measures to tackle increased consumption of sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods in an effort to escape the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the United States.

“One country and one strategy at a time, the region has pushed back against sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods in an effort to escape the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the United States. Infectious diseases are still the leading causes of death in developing countries, but as economies grow, Western lifestyle factors such as smoking, high-fat diet, obesity and lack of exercise are emerging public health problems.”

Read article here.


Critics seek tough punishment for YouTube over kids’ privacy

The Hill Times
Consumer advocates are pushing for the US Federal Trade Commission to come down hard on YouTube’s handling of children’s privacy. The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC)  are calling for YouTube to separate children’s videos from the rest of the platform in order to crack down on illegal data collection on younger viewers. Read article here