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Germany tightens rules on marketing food to children: ‘Advertising must not induce children to eat unhealthily’

Food Navigator

Germany’s voluntary code governing marketing food to children has been updated. “Advertising must not induce children to eat unhealthily,” Federal Minister of Food Julia Klöckner stressed.  Changes to the code include increasing the age that the code covers to 14, and expanding the scope of channels to include video-sharing platforms and social media, including YouTube and TikTok. Read more

Jamie Oliver calls on the government to stick by plan to ban online junk food ads

iNews .co.uk

The TV chef is urging the government to “put health first” and not be “weakened by vested interests”. Jamie Oliver and more than 90 health figures are urging the government to push ahead with proposals to ban all online adverts for foods high in sugar, fat, and salt. Campaigners want the government “to forge ahead with landmark proposals to end almost all unhealthy food and drink adverts online, which will protect children from the influence of junk food marketing”. It is understood the proposals to stop all online adverts for unhealthy food may not go ahead, according to reports in the press. Read more

Are Junk Food Companies Using TikTok Influencers to Target Kids?

Civil Eats
“There is a significant body of research showing that children are more vulnerable to advertising when it is integrated into content. The fact that children who spend hours a day on YouTube and TikTok feel like they have relationships with influencers makes these junk food pitches even more powerful,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. He also sees disclosures such as an #ad hashtag as meaningless to children. “The FTC should instead prohibit influencer marketing aimed at children as an unfair practice,” he said. Read more

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

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?

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