TED – Inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers

ted I’ve been following the lectures on TED for a couple of years, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in ideas, technology and design.

TED is an organisation that holds lectures by innovative thinkers, where you’ll often see people of notable prestige in the areas of science, health, and education.  TED releases videos (almost daily) to the public, for free.

These videos; usually just 15 minutes in length, are sure to get you thinking about relevant issues and interesting new solutions.

Visit their website and open your world: http://www.ted.com/

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New website to protect kids from junk food marketing

food-marketing From the website:
Children are vulnerable to advertising. They are less able than adults to fully understand that the purpose of advertising is not to inform but to persuade, and to ultimately sell a product.

Studies show that children are much more likely to want to eat food that comes in branded packaging than food with no branding – even if it is the same product.

A study of 3 to 5 year olds showed that over 75% of children preferred French fries in McDonalds branded wrapping, compared to the just over 10% who preferred fries from plain packaging – the food was exactly the same!.  More info here; http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/161/8/792

The same study also showed that children with more TVs in their home were more likely to prefer the McDonalds-branded food packaging.  An extensive survey of the evidence from the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms this.

The WHO report on Marketing of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Children explains that advertising promoting foods high in fat, sugar or salt directly influence children’s attitudes and behaviour – they want and ultimately eat these unhealthy foods.  This can be a direct influence with children buying the foods, sweets and drinks themselves or asking their parents for these foods.

Visit the website here: http://junkfoodgeneration.org

Download the World Health Organization report : WHO – Marketing Junk food to kids (PDF file)

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Experts say marketing of junk food to children must be restricted

consuming-kids Louise Baur, Professor of the Discipline of Paediatrics & Child Health at the University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, says that parents are struggling to be heard over the bombardment of marketing aimed at their children.

From the article:
"Every week, in my weight management clinics at the hospital, I see parents who are trying their very hardest to look after the health of their kids" says Professor Baur. "By now, everyone has heard the alarming childhood obesity statistics. Parents are much better informed about healthy eating, and are trying to teach their children good nutritional habits. But how can they compete with slick, multi-million dollar marketing campaigns?

She dismisses suggestions that advertising doesn’t play a significant role in the diets of children. "Advertising does influence what kids want and therefore what parents buy – of course it does. Companies wouldn’t spend millions on it if it didn’t!"

Professor Baur points not only to television advertising, but to a range of marketing strategies from sponsorship of kids’ sporting events to "endorsements" of products by popular cartoon characters. She says that all levels of government have a role to play in supporting parents by introducing measures to restrict these marketing practices – and she isn’t alone.

The World Federation of Consumer Organisations, Consumers International, has this week released a new International Code on Marketing of Food and non-Alcoholic Beverages to Children, which is supported by the International Obesity Taskforce.

The Code calls for new government regulations to protect children and parents from the pressures of junk food marketing practices.

"This isn’t about being the "fun police", banning chocolate or soft drinks, or outlawing all forms of advertising" she says. "All we are asking is for some balance. Limiting the marketing of unhealthy food and drinks will give parents a better chance to teach their kids about responsible, healthy eating. We want to give children back to their parents. And that’s going to lead to happier families and healthier kids."

Full article here: http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=2199

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The Lunch Box Challenge

In this event at the CI World Congress, 12 children were asked to choose the contents of their lunch box from a range of healthy and unhealthy options.

The results speak for themselves.

You can visit the Consumer International website here: http://www.consumersinternational.org/

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