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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

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

Gambling, alcohol and junk food brands breaking ad code by targeting children

Marketing Week 

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 . . .

 

Why we should ban junk-food ads aimed at children 

Washington Post 

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

 

Mexico state bans sale of sugary drinks and junk food to children

The Guardian 

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