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 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
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
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
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.
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
The University of Michigan News
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
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