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
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
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
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 . . .
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
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