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
Katharine Jenner, nutritionist and campaign director at Action on Sugar, said COVID-19 could mean certain risk factors lead to worse oral health outcomes. The UK based campaign group said COVID-19 has led to popular companies heavily advertising unhealthy food and drink products – but little has been done to curb it. This follows the delay of a report on sugar reduction within the confectionary sector, which has been held up as a result of the pandemic. Progress by manufacturers has stalled against the Public Health England set target of 20% in voluntary cuts by 2020. Read the article here
Strategy magazine looks at Unilever’s decision to stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below the age of 13 on social media. The article features an interview with Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition co-chair Manuel Arango. Read the article here
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.
Canadian child health advocate, Zulfi Bhutta of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, is among a team of global experts urging “a radical rethink” of how a warming planet, aggressive advertising and economic inequities pose an “immediate threat” to the health and well-being of young people worldwide. A report launched Wednesday by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and The Lancet concludes children face urgent peril from ecological degradation, climate change and aggressive marketing tactics that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco. Read the article