News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Study prompts call for ban on junk food ads to children

Friday 7 February 2014

Study prompts call for ban on manipulative junk food advertising to children

A ban on manipulative junk food advertising to children is urgently needed to help fight increasing rates of childhood obesity, say University of Otago Wellington researchers.

Free toys, gifts, discounts and competitions, promotional characters and celebrities, and appeals to taste and fun, are just some of the techniques used by marketers to promote junk food to kids, according to a recent systematic literature review.

Lead researcher Dr Gabrielle Jenkin says most children and parents will be familiar with the offer of free toys at McDonalds, slogans such as “open happiness” with Coke, and the use of licensed characters such as Spiderman or Spongebob Squarepants to promote junk food to children.

Persuasive food marketing is manipulative, especially for children, Dr Jenkin says.

“Such marketing has been proven to increase children’s requests for the advertised foods, their food preferences and ultimately their diets. For example, free toys, discounts and competitions promote brand loyalty and repeat purchases,” she says.

She and her University of Otago Wellington colleagues are calling for an outright ban on junk food advertising to children under 16, as has been done in Norway.

In the absence of a ban, new rules would need to be added to the advertising codes around the use of persuasive techniques, as has been done in the UK, Australian and Ireland, they say.

Dr Jenkin says the ubiquitous marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor food and beverages has come under increasing public health scrutiny by international health organisations who have called on governments to monitor and address the problem.

The World Health Organization recommends the reduction of “both the exposure of children to, and the power of, marketing of foods”, she says. In a synthesis of peer reviewed scientific research on persuasive marketing techniques used to promote food to children on television, the researchers found premium offers, the use of promotional characters, nutritional and health claims, and the themes of “taste” and “ fun” were commonly uses to promote unhealthy food to children. The study is the first of its kind to focus on common techniques used to promote food to children on television.

“Addressing this issue would make a meaningful contribution to curbing the international obesity epidemic besieging children throughout the world,” says Dr Jenkin.

The research has been published in the latest edition of the international journal Obesity Reviews.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Architecture:
Ian Athfield Dies In Wellington

New Zealand Institute of Architects: It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand's finest architects, has passed away in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington Production: New-Look Tracy Brothers Are F.A.B.

ITV and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures today released an exclusive preview of the new-look Tracy brothers from this year’s hotly anticipated new series, Thunderbirds Are Go. More>>

ALSO:

Cardinal Numbers:
Pope Francis Names Archbishop From NZ Among New Cardinals

Announcing a list of bishops to be made Cardinals in February Pope Francis named Archbishop John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, overnight from Rome. On hearing the news of the announcement, Archbishop John Dew said "This news is recognition of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the contribution it makes to the global Catholic family." More>>

ALSO:

Nomenclature: Charlotte And Oliver Top Baby Names For 2014

Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names for newborn girls and boys in 2014... The top 100 girls’ and boys’ names make up a small proportion of the more than 12,000 unique first names registered for children born this year, says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriage. More>>

Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news