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Groundswell of opposition to children’s junk food ads as code nears review

Stuff.co.nz 
Pressure is growing on the New Zealand Government to regulate marketing of unhealthy food and drinks that target children. A loose collection of researchers and health groups has formed to lobby the Government for firmer controls, starting with the Children’s and Young People’s Advertising Code. Introduced in 2017, the code is up for review next year, but the groups want to see the complaint process taken out of advertising industry hands. New Zealand had the second highest rate of childhood overweight in the OECD, with 39 per cent of children aged five to 19 either overweight or obese. Read more

Differential exposure to, and potential impact of, unhealthy advertising to children by socio-economic and ethnic groups: a systematic review of the evidence

MDlinx . com
Researchers conducted this systematic review to explore the differential potential exposure and impact of unhealthy food advertising to children according to socio‐economic position and/or ethnicity. Unhealthy food advertisement is overwhelmingly exposed to children from minority and socio-economically deprived communities. In order to boost children’s diets and eliminate inequalities in dietary consumption, laws to limit unhealthy food advertising to children should be enforced. Read the article here

Demand for s’mores spiked in areas with most COVID-19 cases, the CEO of Hershey says — and the company tracked infection rates to decide its ad spend

Business Insider
As COVID-19 spread around the US, so did the demand for s’mores, according to The Hershey Company.  “This past year, we noticed that wherever COVID case counts were elevated, we were seeing increasing sales of s’mores ingredients,” Hershey CEO Michele Buck told CNBC.  The company said chocolate sales were up to 50% higher in locations where COVID infection rates spiked, CNBC reported. The Pennsylvania chocolate maker adjusted its digital marketing to pinpoint these areas, Buck said. Read more

Vital health commitments on food marketing and labelling must not be left unfinished

The Toronto Star
Stop Marketing to Kids coalition co-chairs Dr. Tom Warshawski and Manuel Arango penned an op-ed urging the federal government to adopt two vital health projects: legislation to restrict food marketing to children, and new labelling regulations mandating clear, simple front-of-package nutrition information on food products. Read the article

Are ‘Kidfluencers’ Making Our Kids Fat?

New York Times
Kid influencers are marketing unhealthy food and sugary beverages to children, racking up billions of page views. In a new study in the journal, Pediatrics researchers viewed the top 50 kid influencer videos on YouTube and found that 9 out of 10 featured unhealthy foods. Nearly 1 in 3 promoted a fast-food chain.  Read the article Are ‘Kidfluencers’ Making Our Kids Fat?

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

Action on Sugar says UK’s oral health likely to worsen following COVID-19

Dentistry Online 

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

The scoop on Unilever’s new marketing commitments

Strategy Magazine

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

Are Foods Labeled ‘Low Sugar’ Misleading Consumers?

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.

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Global child health study calls on Canada to act

Guelph Mercury

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