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Queen’s Speech 2021: Junk food adverts to be banned completely online and on TV before 9pm

iNews

In the UK junk food adverts before 9 pm are set to be banned on television, along with a total ban online. The proposal was revealed in a briefing document that accompanied the Queen’s Speech, as she officially reopened the UK Parliament. Her Majesty announced that the Government would put the National Health Service at the forefront of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and, as part of that, introduce measures to tackle obesity. Read more …

Obesity studies highlight severe COVID outcomes, even in young adults

Center for Infectious Disease Research Policy (University of Michigan) 

Two new, large studies from England and Mexico provide new details on obesity as a risk factor for poor COVID-19–related outcomes, including death. The study out of England published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, examined data for nearly 7 million English patients 20 years and older with available body mass index (BMI) values registered at an eligible general practice from Jan 24 to Apr 30, 2020. The second study out of Mexico was published in Epidemiology & Infection and analyzed data from 15,529 COVID-19 inpatients and outpatients in Mexico’s 32 states from the National COVID-19 Epidemiological Surveillance Study between Feb 24 and Apr 26, 2020. Read more on the studies

Child obesity cases treated in hospital have more than doubled in two years, figures show

UK Today News 

The number of obese babies and toddlers treated in UK hospitals has more than doubled in two years, figures show. Doctors say obesity was a contributory factor in 1,087 patients aged four and under last year, with 61 less than a year old.  Conditions included diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and stomach reflux. The figure has more than tripled from 336 in 2013/14 to 1,087 in 2019/20, the latest year for which figures are available. Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said it was ‘horrifying’ that infants ‘scarcely out of the womb’ are so overweight.  Read more

Ultra-processed foods and type-2 diabetes risk in the sun project: A prospective cohort study

Science Direct

The study assessed 20,060 participants (61.5% women) from the SUN project (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) followed-up every two years. Food and drink consumption were evaluated through a validated 136-item food frequency questionnaire and grouped according to their degree of processing by the NOVA classification. The study found that a higher intake of ultra-processed food was independently associated with a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Read more

‘Striking’ Increase in Childhood Obesity During Pandemic

WebMD 

Obesity rates among children jumped substantially in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online in Pediatrics. Experts worry the excess weight will be a continuing problem for these children. The study looked at a large pediatric primary care network and found the number of patients with obesity increased from 13.7% to 15.4%. Read more

Are high-sugar adverts contributing to obesity in Mediterranean countries?

FoodNavigator. Com 

The Spanish food industry is promoting unhealthy products for breakfast, according to Mireia Montaña Blasco from the Open University of Catalonia, who has undertaken research in response to rising obesity rates in Mediterranean countries. In total, the researcher analyzed 355 advertisements from 117 different products that appeared across Spanish media including the internet, television, radio, print and outdoor advertising.  Among the findings was that a vast majority of those targeted at children had an average sugar content of 36.2% compared to 10.25% for those targeted at adults. In Spain one in three children are overweight and the country has the highest proportion of childhood obesity in Europe. Read more

Raiding your cupboards like a vending machine? Big Food is feeding our snack addiction

USA Today  
Big Food is using our deepest human instincts against us to make their products more addictive than ever, and then maneuvering to exploit our efforts to regain control of our health. In the early days of COVID-19, manufacturers of cookies, crackers and chips saw sales jump nearly 30% as people loaded up on items they hadn’t had since childhood. And now, the companies aren’t about to let us go. Read the article

Is Obesity Policy in England Fit for Purpose? Analysis of Government Strategies and Policies, 1992–2020

The Milbank Quarterly 
A review of thirty years of proposed Government obesity policies in England has found few to be successful or to have led to a consistent reduction in obesity rates. One major finding is that policies largely make high demands on individual agency, meaning they rely on individuals to make behaviour changes rather than shaping external influences and are thus less likely to be effective or equitable. Read the study

Why you need to eat fewer ultra-processed foods like frozen pizza and granola bars

The Globe and Mail 
A steady intake of ultra-processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of chronic health problems such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. Now, findings from a large Italian study add to mounting evidence that ultra-processed foods should be limited. Added sugars in these foods, as well as the processing methods used to make them, may contribute to their harmful effects. Read the Globe and Mail 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