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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

Why we should ban junk-food ads aimed at children 

Washington Post 

Food manufacturers have spent a good part of the past century figuring out how to get kids to convince their parents to spend money, and they’ve gotten very good at it. New York University professor Marion Nestle, who has been following the issue for decades, told me she hears from parents about junk food marketed to children all the time. Read the article here

 

Mexico state bans sale of sugary drinks and junk food to children

The Guardian 

The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has banned the sale of sugary drinks and high-calorie snack foods to children – a measure aimed at curbing obesity. The bill puts sugary items into the same category as cigarettes and alcohol. “It’s important to finally put the brakes on this industry, which has already sickened our country and our children,” said Magaly López Domínguez, the Oaxaca lawmaker who presented the bill. “[The industry] gets into the most remote corners of the state” – known for its mountainous topography – “where there’s often not even medicines, but there’s Coca-Cola.” Read the article here

Obesity: Unhealthy ‘buy one get one free’ deals targeted

BBC 

Buy one get one free deals on unhealthy food will be banned as part of the government’s bid to tackle obesity in England. The plan also includes restrictions on where foods high in fat and sugar can be promoted in-store, and new rules for displaying calories on menus. A ban on junk food adverts before 21:00 has been confirmed – for the whole UK. Boris Johnson said the plans would help “reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus”.  Read the story here

Confronting obesity in Canada

Canadian Bar Association – National

The outlook for an improved food environment remains bleak as policymakers focus on stamping out COVID-19 and reviving the economy. While the early Trudeau government prioritized these health measures, it has since backed down when faced with industry opposition — and dire warnings about financial consequences. “For sure, COVID has thrown a monkey wrench in the works,” said Tom Warshawski, chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation. Once the COVID fire is manageable, Warshawski added, legislation will get back on track. “They will make good. We can’t afford not to.”  Read the article here.

Childhood Obesity: Research backs case for stricter advertising regulations

Food Navigator 

Fresh research across Europe suggests children are falling through the gaps of regulations aimed at preventing childhood obesity. Research in Spain and Slovenia shows that even legally binding measures, as they currently stand, are not enough to prevent childhood obesity. Read more here

 

Obesity costing Western Australia $340 million per year

News. com. au 
Obesity is costing Western Australia’s health system close to $340 million a year, with experts renewing calls for a ban on junk food advertising. A report by WA’s Department of Health finds that health conditions related to excess body mass were responsible for 9.3 per cent of all hospitalizations in 2016. The report projects that by 2026, such hospitalizations will have risen by 54 per cent – and the costs to the health system increased to $610 million – unless the problem is addressed.  Read the article here

Covid-19 school closings may spur childhood obesity, experts warn

The Washington Post 

Childhood obesity experts are worrying that children — who often gain weight during the summer when they’re home — will add even more pounds, escalating an already serious public health problem. “Weight gained each summer accumulates year after year since children don’t usually lose it when they return to school,” says Andrew Rundle, who heads the childhood obesity research project within the Columbia (University) Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Read the article here

COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate childhood obesity

Science Daily 
Andrew Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues expect that COVID-19-related school closures will double out-of-school time this year for many children in the U.S. and will exacerbate risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess. Read the article here

Lidl to ditch cartoons on cereals

BBC News

Lidl, a popular UK grocery store chain, has announced plans to remove cartoon characters from all its own-brand cereal packaging in the UK by spring 2020.  Lidl says the move will encourage healthier choices and help parents tackle ‘pester power’ from their children. Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance – a coalition of organisations such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Medical Association – welcomed what it called a “responsible approach”.

Read more here