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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

Seventy percent of teens surveyed engaged with food and beverage brands on social media in 2017

Medical XPress

Seventy percent of teens surveyed report engaging with food and beverage brands on social media and 35 percent engaged with at least five brands, according to a new study from the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity published in the journal Appetite. The study found that 93 percent of the brands that teens reported engaging with on social media were fast food, unhealthy snack foods, candy, and sugary drinks. 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.

 

 

What’s so bad about processed foods? Scientists offer clues

CTV News
Three recent studies offer more clues on how our increasingly industrialized food supply may be affecting our health, they also underscore how difficult nutrition science and advice can be. Distinguishing which processed foods might be better or worse is increasingly difficult as companies continually re-engineer products to make them seem more wholesome. Read full article here.

Senators working to block bill that restricts food and drink ads aimed at children

The Globe and Mail

A bill that would restrict food and beverage advertising aimed at kids is facing the possibility of a quiet death in the Senate after taking nearly three years to make its way through Parliament. Read article here.

Science-based Food Policies: What Works, What Doesn’t

UC Food Observer

An interview with Dr. Lorrene Ritchie who has devoted her career to developing interdisciplinary, science-based and culturally relevant solutions to child obesity. Read interview here

Sugary drinks marketed to children using same tactics as cigarette companies

Healio.com

“The evidence cited here shows that these marketing techniques, which remain prevalent, were specifically designed to attract children by blurring advertisement with entertainment content in a way that is now at odds with the terms of industry-led agreements” the study’s authors said. Read here

NYC Votes to ban restaurants from offering kids sugary drinks

MSN

The City Council passed a bill forcing restaurants to offer certain healthy beverages with kids’ meals. Read article here

What would you do with an extra 5-10 hours a week?

Join us and turn off your screens for Screen-Free Week April 30 – May 6

The Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition is proud to endorse 2018 Screen-Free Week—a coordinated effort to encourage millions around the world to turn off televisions, smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles for seven days and connect more deeply with the world around them. Screen-Free Week is a chance for children to read, play, think, create, be more physically active and to spend more time with friends and family.

On average, preschool children spend over four and a half hours a day consuming screen media, while older children spend over seven hours a day. Excessive screen time is linked to a number of problems for children, including childhood obesity, poor school performance and problems with attention span.

While reducing screen time can help limit children’s exposure to slick ads for unhealthy food and beverages—it is not enough. Canadian children see over 25 million food and beverage ads a year on their favourite websites. Robust federal restrictions are essential to protect all children from the health impacts of pervasive unhealthy food and beverage marketing where they live, learn and play.

The Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition endorses Screen-Free Week as a great initiative that challenges us to dedicate time to activities beyond our screens, that enrich health and wellbeing—through relationships, literacy, learning and play.

Join us April 30 – May 6 for Screen-Free Week! Visit screenfree.org to learn more.

By Ashley Hughes, Registered Dietitian and Coordinator for the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition 

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Screen-Free Week is coordinated by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a national advocacy organization devoted to reducing the impact of commercialism on children. Since Screen-Free Week’s founding in 1994, it has been celebrated by millions of children and their families worldwide. For more information, visit www.screenfree.org