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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

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?

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 

Marketers are gathering data on your kids from the apps they use, study finds

CNN 
A new U.S. study analyzed how developers collect and share personal digital information while children are using many of the tens of thousands of digital apps created for kids — a trend that is on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic as more and more children shelter and study at home. “My colleagues and I found that 67% of the apps played by 3- to 4-year-old children collected these sorts of digital identifiers — mobile serial numbers or ID codes that can be traced back to the device’s owner — and shared them with ‘third party’ marketing companies,” said lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Read the article here

Social media groups urged to block ads targeting teens

Financial Times

Facebook, Google and other tech platforms should stop allowing advertisements to be targeted at teenagers, said a group of leading academics, lawyers and privacy campaigners in the UK.  Restrictions are already in place on targeting teenagers with alcohol and gambling advertisements, but the signatories to the letter said all targeted advertising should stop. “The problem isn’t just age-inappropriate ads,” said Oliver Hayes, policy and campaigns lead at the charity Global Action Plan. “It’s that targeted ads are inherently exploitative and manipulative, regardless of content.” Read the article here

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

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 . . .

 

Why we should ban junk-food ads aimed at children 

Washington Post 

Food manufacturers have spent a good part of the past century figuring out how to get kids to convince their parents to spend money, and they’ve gotten very good at it. New York University professor Marion Nestle, who has been following the issue for decades, told me she hears from parents about junk food marketed to children all the time. 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