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Much has been learned since 2006. I urge you to keep exploring the evolution of information through other websites.

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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The Flip Side to the Obesity Epidemic

lindsay_lohan_nicole_ritchie_skinny Dr Martin Donohoe MD FACP has researched the body image problem that is ubiquitous throughout western civilisation.  He has uncovered some interesting statistics.

From the article:
As many as 66% of women and 52% of men have reported feelings of dissatisfaction or inadequacy regarding their body weight.[4] Sixty percent of girls in grades 9-12 are trying to lose weight, compared with 24% of boys.[4] The number-one wish of girls aged 11-17 is to lose weight.[5] Women are more likely to judge themselves as overweight when they are not, whereas men are the opposite.[6] Women who desire to lose weight are more likely to do so in the hopes of improving their appearance, whereas men who wish to lose weight are more likely to be concerned about their future health and fitness.[7]

Body-image distress is now classified as a psychological disorder. Five percent to 10% of females have an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.[4] Male and female high school athletes are especially at risk for unhealthy weight-control behaviours, such as restricting food intake, vomiting, over-exercising, using diet pills, inappropriately taking prescribed stimulants or insulin, and using nicotine.[8] Some adolescents dehydrate by restricting fluid intake, spitting, wearing rubber suits, taking daily steam baths and/or saunas, and using diuretics or laxatives.[8]

Consequences of abnormal weight-loss behaviours include delayed maturation, impaired growth, menstrual irregularities or loss of menses, increased rates of infection, eating disorders, and depression. Alternatively, such behaviours can be a sign of depression or verbal, physical, or sexual abuse.[9,10]
Media images have contributed to a misguided perception of the "ideal" body. Today, models weigh 23% less than average women; in 1986 it was only 8%.[11] Modelling schools for teens create unrealistic expectations. Only a very "select" few models achieve financial success (of these select few, beginners earn $1500 per day, those in the top tier $25,000 per day, and supermodels $100,000 or even more per day).

The full story:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/571497_print

Further Reading:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/skinny-fat/

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