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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 

Online junk food advertising: Could banning it tackle obesity?

BBC Science Focus

Research suggests that an online advert ban will be most beneficial to children whose parents earn the least (and are therefore at increased risk of obesity and other diet-related illnesses), compared to those who earn the most, thus additionally playing a role in reducing socioeconomic health inequalities. Read the article

UK to ban all online junk food advertising to tackle obesity

The Guardian 
Research has found that one in three children leaving primary school are overweight, or obese, as are almost two-thirds of adults in England. “This would be a world-leading policy to improve children’s health,” said Fran Bernhardt, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign. “Online adverts have cast unhealthy food in the starring role for far too long. The current regulations are inadequate to protect children. Companies advertising healthier foods have nothing to fear.” Read the article

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

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 

Throne speech mustn’t neglect crucial Liberal pre-pandemic health commitments

CBC

Doug Roth, CEO of Heart & Stroke, writes that the government cannot simply forget its pre-pandemic health commitments, it has an obligation to address pharmacare, charities, food and vaping regulations.  Read the article here

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

Confronting obesity in Canada

Canadian Bar Association – National

The outlook for an improved food environment remains bleak as policymakers focus on stamping out COVID-19 and reviving the economy. While the early Trudeau government prioritized these health measures, it has since backed down when faced with industry opposition — and dire warnings about financial consequences. “For sure, COVID has thrown a monkey wrench in the works,” said Tom Warshawski, chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation. Once the COVID fire is manageable, Warshawski added, legislation will get back on track. “They will make good. We can’t afford not to.”  Read the article here.

Junk food marketers found targeting children on social media without repercussions

Medical XPress

A new study has found that while most major social media platforms have restrictions on the advertising of tobacco, alcohol and gambling to children, there are hardly any such restrictions in place around junk food. The study’s authors contend that the potential role of social media platforms in regulating junk food marketing has largely escaped attention. Read the article here

You can read the study here

Childhood Obesity: Research backs case for stricter advertising regulations

Food Navigator 

Fresh research across Europe suggests children are falling through the gaps of regulations aimed at preventing childhood obesity. Research in Spain and Slovenia shows that even legally binding measures, as they currently stand, are not enough to prevent childhood obesity. Read more here