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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

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

 

No Decline in Junk-Food Advertising on Children’s Television, According to New CSPI Analysis

Center for Science in the Public Interest

A new analysis of 72 hours of children’s television programming in 2018 found that junk-food marketing has not decreased since 2012. The vast majority of the food and beverage advertisements captured were for unhealthy products. The lack of progress comes despite the implementation in 2013 of uniform nutrition standards by an industry self-regulatory group.

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

Nutrition Experts Optimistic About New Canada Food Guide to Be Released This Spring

The Epoch Times

“A food policy issue both experts agree on is the new legislation banning the advertising of unhealthy foods to children. The Child Health Protection Act is now in its second reading in the House of Commons and is set to be passed this year”. Read article…

 

 

Tell Food Industry Our Kids are Not Their Business

On January 6, 2008, I lost a vibrant, healthy and much loved 15-year-old son.  I believe a contributing cause to his death was consumption of an energy drink sample at a sporting event.  You can read more about my son’s death on my facebook awareness page.

Industry marketed directly to my son.

Since then, I have done extensive research on the potentially fatal effects of energy drinks and marketing to kids. Three deaths associated with energy drinks are documented in Health Canada’s database, all teenage deaths (1). It has been estimated that for every adverse report filed, up to ten go unreported. My research strongly suggests the unreported number may be much higher.

Experts continue to question the safety of energy drinks’ ingredient cocktail, not just their caffeine content. There are no long-term studies that prove the safety of energy drinks. On the contrary, emerging research strongly suggests they pose a public health threat. In 2010, Health Canada appointed an Expert Panel on Caffeinated Energy Drinks. They came back with very strong recommendations to mitigate safety concerns related to these products most of which were never addressed.

Energy drinks are the worst case example of industry marketing an unhealthy – and potentially dangerous product – to children and youth. This must stop.

My three primary goals are to:

  1. Protect children and youth from the potentially fatal effects of energy drinks. First, by treating these products like tobacco, alcohol, and fireworks, through a ban on sale to minors. Second, through federal legislation restricting the commercial marketing of foods and beverages to children.
  2. Raise awareness of the potential dangers of energy drinks through education programs, point of sale signage, and separate shelf placement.
  3. Encourage more research on the health risks associated with caffeinated energy drinks.

Currently, there is nothing to stop industry from marketing to another young member of my family. This must change. Voluntary self-regulation by industry of marketing to children has proven an abysmal failure. Regulations with stiff penalties are needed to mitigate the risk energy drinks and their abusive marketing pose to children and youth.

I’ve voiced my concerns on several occasions and continue this dialogue with all levels of government in Canada. On June 8, 2010, I appeared as a witness in Ottawa before the Standing Committee on Health. More recently, I presented to the Toronto Board of Health (March 20, 2017), and the Ottawa Board of Health (April 3, 2017).

On January 6, 2016, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Trudeau, I offered my strong support for the Liberal campaign promise to restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. I implored the Prime Minister to give special consideration to energy drinks and related caffeinated energy products when developing those regulations. More so, I stressed that children and youth are bombarded with the adventurous and trendy marketing associated with these drinks. Teenagers must also be protected from abusive marketing, not just those 12 and under.

No other family should have to live with the questions that my family does. Sadly, I have connected with several others families who have shared similar losses, more than one of them in Canada. They all share my suspicions.

I urge you to take action.  Tell government to restrict the commercial marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth. Send an e-card to your MP letting them know marketing to kids must stop. Together, our message is stronger. Food and beverage companies must be told, our kids are not their business.

By Jim Shepherd

Reference

  1. Canada Vigilance Summary of Reported Adverse Reactions. Canadian Vigilance Database. Health Canada. December 19, 2013. Accessed via: CanadaVigilance@hc-sc.gc.ca

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We Need To Use Every Tool To Fix Our Unhealthy Diets

The Huffington Post | Yves Savoie, CEO of Heart & Stroke

We need to use every tool to fix our unhealthy diets It is encouraging to see federal government moving in several important areas to help Canadians make better food and beverage choices We can’t cure heart disease or diabetes. But we can help prevent or delay them and other chronic illnesses in one vital way — with a healthier diet. Read more… 

 

 

Trevor Hancock: Protect our kids from unhealthy advertising

Times Colonist

Which brings me to the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to our kids, especially sugar-rich products they do not need and that are contributing to the epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. Here is another situation where government is not doing enough to protect us from harm. Read article here… 

Eat This! How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and how to fight back)

Tune in to listen to an exclusive interview with Author, Andrea Curtis. Andrea’s latest book

Eat This! How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and how to fight back) will be published by Red Deer Press this year. Eat This! is a guide to recognizing the marketing tricks companies use to sell foods and beverages to children. Learn about the increasingly complex and subliminal tactics used to market to kids. Find out what others are doing to combat them, and what you can do to help. Andrea Curtis is an award-winning writer for adults and children. She has a longtime interest in food politics. Joining Andrea, is Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, a project of charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, and Helena O’Donnell Project Manager of the Irish Heart Foundation’s advocacy campaign Stop Targeting Kids.

To view or download a PDF copy of the slides, click the links below:

Eat This! Andrea Curtis

 

Junk-food ban in Canadian schools is working, study finds

The Canada Press // Toronto Star – Michael McDonald
New research has found that students exposed to a school junk-food ban have a lower BMI on average than those who are not. Read more…