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Groundswell of opposition to children’s junk food ads as code nears review

Stuff.co.nz 
Pressure is growing on the New Zealand Government to regulate marketing of unhealthy food and drinks that target children. A loose collection of researchers and health groups has formed to lobby the Government for firmer controls, starting with the Children’s and Young People’s Advertising Code. Introduced in 2017, the code is up for review next year, but the groups want to see the complaint process taken out of advertising industry hands. New Zealand had the second highest rate of childhood overweight in the OECD, with 39 per cent of children aged five to 19 either overweight or obese. Read more

Fresh calls for regulation of junk food marketing in Germany: ‘Voluntary commitments cannot work’

Food Navigator

Voluntary codes to limit the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children ‘cannot work’, according to the Federation of German Consumer Organisations. The association is calling for tougher action. The research found that existing voluntary commitments exclude important forms of marketing like packaging and digital exposure and offer numerous loopholes due to vague definitions. Read more

 

Differential exposure to, and potential impact of, unhealthy advertising to children by socio-economic and ethnic groups: a systematic review of the evidence

MDlinx . com
Researchers conducted this systematic review to explore the differential potential exposure and impact of unhealthy food advertising to children according to socio‐economic position and/or ethnicity. Unhealthy food advertisement is overwhelmingly exposed to children from minority and socio-economically deprived communities. In order to boost children’s diets and eliminate inequalities in dietary consumption, laws to limit unhealthy food advertising to children should be enforced. Read the article here

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

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