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Parents being misled over kids’ snacks, says child health expert

BBC

The health claims made on the product packaging for a large proportion of foods marketed to children in the UK are ‘confusing’, and could be contributing to rising rates of childhood obesity, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Read article here

Read the full report here.

Sugary drinks marketed to children using same tactics as cigarette companies

Healio.com

“The evidence cited here shows that these marketing techniques, which remain prevalent, were specifically designed to attract children by blurring advertisement with entertainment content in a way that is now at odds with the terms of industry-led agreements” the study’s authors said. Read here

Why the FDA is considering a healthy icon for food packaging

Pacific Standard

The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed an agency-approved icon signifying that an item is indeed “healthy.” Consumer advocacy groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest have long argued that lack of regulation has enabled “food labeling chaos.” They say companies have been allowed to market their products using words like “natural” or “heart healthy” without providing evidence, thereby misleading and even deceiving the public.

NYC Votes to ban restaurants from offering kids sugary drinks

MSN

The City Council passed a bill forcing restaurants to offer certain healthy beverages with kids’ meals. Read article here

Canadian food and beverage companies get mixed grades on nutrition goals: U of T report

Food in Canada

Canada’s largest food and beverage manufacturers could aim higher to improve nutrition, reduce obesity and prevent chronic disease, according to a new report by University of Toronto researchers.The study is the first to evaluate Canada’s biggest food and beverage companies based on their policies and commitments to sell healthier products. Read post here

The report can be read here (English only)

Sugary drink regulations to help curb childhood obesity supported by pediatricians group, American Heart Association

ABC News

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association issued joint policy recommendations that include a sales tax and regulations on marketing.

“As a nation we have to say ‘no’ to the onslaught of marketing of sugary drinks to our children,” said Rachel K. Johnson, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Vermont and former chair of the AHA’s nutrition committee, in a statement. “We know what works to protect kids’ health and it’s time we put effective policies in place that bring down rates of sugary drink consumption just like we’ve done with tobacco”. Read full article here

Senate needs to protect our health and environment

Times Colonist

Trevor Hancock writes “In recent weeks, we have seen large Canadian industries pressuring the Senate to favour their special interests over the wider health and environmental interests of Canadians. In the process, this unelected chamber is being asked to subvert the will of the elected House of Commons by delaying and effectively killing two bills”.

Is the hunt for a white chocolate Creme Egg making Britain’s kids obese?

The Guardian 
Cadbury’s Easter promotion has been criticized for encouraging children to eat hundreds of chocolates – and then there’s the row over their attempt to get kids active. The National Obesity Forum has attacked Cadbury for its promotion. “We should be trying to wean children off sugar,” said the NOF chairman, Tam Fry, “not enticing them to wolf down huge quantities of chocolate”. Read article here… 

Junk food adverts could be banned before 9pm as part of government plans to fight ‘epidemic’ of childhood obesity

The Independent 

Junk food adverts on TV and online could be banned before 9pm as part of Government plans to fight the “epidemic” of childhood obesity. Plans for the new watershed have been put out for public consultation in a bid to combat the growing crisis, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said. One in three children leaves primary school overweight or obese and the number of children classed as seriously obese is at a record high, it added. Read full article here.

Read the consultation document here

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How Fast Food Advertisements Get Under Your Skin, Whether You Realize It Or Not

Huffington Post 

Studies show how ads can trigger the reward center of the brain, and it starts during childhood. Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity said  “There are strong emotional associations that have been created through advertisements and other means. Children recognize brands and logos by the time they’re 2 years old. It’s very powerful, and once those emotional attachments are established, they’re very difficult to get rid of”. Read full article here..