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Cereal numbers may be deceiving

Reuters (appeared in the Montreal Gazette)

Parents may allow kids to eat too much sugary breakfast cereal because the suggested serving size is smaller than they realize, a new U.S. study suggests. The cereals with the most sugar also tend to have child-oriented marketing such as mascots, games, colours and fun shapes, researchers found in a study of brands that have pledged to help reduce added sugars in kids’ diets. “When you compute the amount of sugar by weight of the cereal, the sugar content is quite high and higher than federal recommendations,” said Jennifer Emond of the Dartmouth School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H., who wasn’t involved in the study. Read the article here

You can find the study here (paywall)

The scoop on Unilever’s new marketing commitments

Strategy Magazine

Strategy magazine looks at Unilever’s decision to stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below the age of 13 on social media. The article features an interview with Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition co-chair Manuel Arango. Read the article 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

 

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.

youtube-childrens-privacy

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)

Lidl to ditch cartoons on cereals

BBC News

Lidl, a popular UK grocery store chain, has announced plans to remove cartoon characters from all its own-brand cereal packaging in the UK by spring 2020.  Lidl says the move will encourage healthier choices and help parents tackle ‘pester power’ from their children. Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance – a coalition of organisations such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the British Medical Association – welcomed what it called a “responsible approach”.

Read more here

 

Irish Heart Foundation calls for marketing bans on junk food to combat childhood obesity

MSN.com

Irish government research estimates that 85,000 of today’s children will die prematurely due to obesity. The Irish Heart Foundation is looking to decrease childhood obesity by 50% in the next decade and has proposed new taxes on sugary products as well as an end to price promotions for unhealthy foods and drinks. Read the article here

 

Kellogg’s agrees to stop calling its sugary cereals ‘healthy’

Today.com

In a lawsuit filed against Kellogg Company this year a group of people in New York and California asked if Kellogg’s breakfast products contain significant amounts of added sugar, why are they labelled as “healthy,” “wholesome” or “nutritious”?  Kellogg Company settled with plaintiffs before going to trial and agreed to remove such terms purporting health benefits. Read the article here

How children get hooked on sugary drinks

New York Times

Nearly two-thirds of the $2.2 billion in beverages marketed to children in 2018 contained added sweeteners, according to a report released last week by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut. The report found that the packaging and marketing of these products often leave parents confused.   Read the New York Times article here.