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MPP Gélinas junk food bill would remove tasty treats from cash checkout areas

Toronto Star 

Ontario Nickel Belt New Democrat MPP and official opposition health critic France Gélinas has introduced a bill at Queen’s Park to remove the tempting racks of junk food and other treats with high fat, high sugar and high sodium content that are often located near cash register checkouts. A news release from Gélinas’ office said the bill is called the Temptation Be Gone Act and allows the government to make regulations that restrict the sales and marketing of certain treats — including restrictions on what can be located right next to the cash register. Read more

Are Junk Food Companies Using TikTok Influencers to Target Kids?

Civil Eats
“There is a significant body of research showing that children are more vulnerable to advertising when it is integrated into content. The fact that children who spend hours a day on YouTube and TikTok feel like they have relationships with influencers makes these junk food pitches even more powerful,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. He also sees disclosures such as an #ad hashtag as meaningless to children. “The FTC should instead prohibit influencer marketing aimed at children as an unfair practice,” he said. Read more

Are high-sugar adverts contributing to obesity in Mediterranean countries?

FoodNavigator. Com 

The Spanish food industry is promoting unhealthy products for breakfast, according to Mireia Montaña Blasco from the Open University of Catalonia, who has undertaken research in response to rising obesity rates in Mediterranean countries. In total, the researcher analyzed 355 advertisements from 117 different products that appeared across Spanish media including the internet, television, radio, print and outdoor advertising.  Among the findings was that a vast majority of those targeted at children had an average sugar content of 36.2% compared to 10.25% for those targeted at adults. In Spain one in three children are overweight and the country has the highest proportion of childhood obesity in Europe. Read more

Covid 19 coronavirus: Junk food companies accused of ‘Covid-washing’ during lockdown

NZ Herald 
20 of the biggest junk and fast food brands in New Zealand have been accused of “Covid-washing” by pushing their products on the back of the nation’s lockdown according to a study from the University of Auckland. The study analyzed nearly 1400 social media posts and found about 27 per cent of the posts related to Covid-19 themes, of which more than a third linked a brand with community spirit. The study’s lead author, Dr Sarah Gerritsen, said Covid-washing portrayed a company as empathetic and contributing in a meaningful way to the pandemic response.”When, in reality, it was just another strategy to promote products and choices that are detrimental to health.” Read more

86% of teens exposed to junk food ads on social media

Medical XPress
Cancer Research UK researchers asked 3,394 11- 19-year-olds from across the UK where they had seen advertising that month for food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt with 86% responding that they had seen adverts for junk food on social media.  Read more
You can read the study here

Opinion  – Why Your New Years Diet is Doomed

New York Times
The playbook for much of the junk-food marketing is similar to what the tobacco industry used for decades: advertising strategies focused on young people, a shirking of responsibility for poisoning entire populations, and an emphasis on individuals’ responsibility for their own health. Read more

Gaps in regulation of commercial educational websites are exposing children to unhealthy food marketing

News-Medical. net  

A new article, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, asserts that current gaps in the regulation of commercial educational websites are exposing children to unhealthy food marketing. A review of over 500 children’s educational websites found that approximately 60% have ads or unclear policies around advertising. For food companies, this offers an unparalleled opportunity to access children online and to market unhealthy foods. Continue reading 

Television advertising limits can reduce childhood obesity, study concludes

Science Daily 
Limiting the hours of television advertising for foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) could make a meaningful contribution to reducing childhood obesity, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Oliver Mytton of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues. Researchers estimate the ban would cut childhood obesity by 40,000 and save the UK £7.4billion in lost productivity. One in three children in England leaves primary school overweight, increasing their risk of cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes substantially.  Read the article

Nutrition report card gives Alberta a C grade – again

CBC Edmonton
For the fourth year in a row, Alberta has received a C grade on a report card that evaluates food environments and nutrition policies for young people. The sixth annual report card grades the province’s score across five environments: physical, communication, economic, social and political.  Alberta received A grades in some areas but overall, the report found much room for improvement. The experts gave Alberta an F for failing to reduce household food insecurity and failing to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Read the article 

Gambling, alcohol and junk food brands breaking ad code by targeting children

Marketing Week 

Alcohol, gambling and junk food brands are still targeting their advertising at channels aimed at children, according to a new study by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA  has found that 159 age-restricted ads broke the advertising rules in its first of four monitoring exercises. The organisation has published the findings from its latest online monitoring sweep in order to help it identify and tackle age-restricted ads appearing in children’s media. Read more . . .