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
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
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
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.
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
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
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