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Obesity costing Western Australia $340 million per year

News. com. au 
Obesity is costing Western Australia’s health system close to $340 million a year, with experts renewing calls for a ban on junk food advertising. A report by WA’s Department of Health finds that health conditions related to excess body mass were responsible for 9.3 per cent of all hospitalizations in 2016. The report projects that by 2026, such hospitalizations will have risen by 54 per cent – and the costs to the health system increased to $610 million – unless the problem is addressed.  Read the article here

See, Like, Share, Remember: Adolescents’ Responses to Unhealthy-, Healthy- and Non-Food Advertising in Social Media

MDPI

Advertisements for unhealthy food evoked significantly more positive responses from adolescents who were more likely to wish to ‘share’ unhealthy posts; rated peers more positively when they had unhealthy posts in their feeds; recalled and recognized a greater number of unhealthy food brands; and viewed unhealthy advertising posts for longer.  Read the study here

Sydney kids face up to 2800 ads for junk food on school run each year

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney students view up to 2800 advertisements for junk food while travelling to and from school each year prompting Cancer Council NSW to call for a ban on such ads being displayed on government property. Research, published by the Sax Institute on Tuesday, examined the likely commutes of attendees at 21 Sydney primary and high schools, totalling 23,000 students. Read the article here

 

Trevor Hancock: Standing up to help secure our children’s future

The Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC)

Trevor Hancock discusses the health impacts of poverty and inequality, and commercial activities like marketing to kids that harm children. Both were included in A Future for the World’s Children?, the February 2020 report from the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission. Read the article here

Teens ‘especially vulnerable’ to junk food advertising, experts say

ABC News

The inundation of junk food advertising is contributing to the rising rate of teen obesity — a public health crisis among a population that is “especially vulnerable” to the messaging, experts say. In 2016 alone, the food industry spent almost $14 billion on overall advertising to influence Americans’ food choices. The U.S. food system is the second-largest advertiser in the American economy, and views adolescents as a major market force, aggressively targeting them to build brand awareness, preference and loyalty. Read more here

 

A little scoop: Unilever will stop marketing to kids in an effort to curb childhood obesity

Washington Post

Food giant Unilever has vowed to stop marketing its products to children by the end of this year in order to tackle rising obesity rates. The firm said it would limit the use of cartoon characters in its advertising and also promised to stop using social media stars or celebrities “who primarily appeal” to children under 12.   Read the article.

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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

Healthy commercial ads don’t change teens’ desire to eat junk food

The University of Michigan News

According to new University of Michigan research, teens who had greater responses in reward centres of the brain when viewing commercials for unhealthy foods from fast food restaurants ate more junk food in a simulated fast food restaurant. A key finding from the study shows that healthier commercials from fast food restaurants are unlikely to encourage healthy food consumption because restaurant logos and branding trigger cues associated with the sale of predominantly unhealthy foods.

You can read the article here and find the study here (paywall)

Is this the secret to getting teens to reject junk food?

Washington Post

Using a media literacy approach to make teens aware of misleading marketing practices has more of an effect on their diets than the traditional approach of telling them a certain food is unhealthy. This was especially true for male students in a recent study, who purchased less junk food in the lunchroom for the remaining three months of the school year compared with those who heard traditional messages.

You can read the article here

Coke, crisps, convenience: how ads created a global junk food generation

The Guardian

New research claims that blanket exposure to promotional material for unhealthy foods is encouraging children to eat badly around the world. 100 schoolchildren in seven countries were asked by researchers from University College London to film themselves and the food they eat for a study about the exposure of children to unhealthy diets. The accompanying policy-analysis shows that policy responses to address diet-related non-communicable diseases remain largely inadequate with responses anchored around individual behaviour change and personal responsibility.

You can read the article here