January 27, 2011

NEWS: UN urges protection of children against marketing of unhealthy food

21 January 2011The United Nations health agency today called for action to reduce the exposure of children to the marketing of food with high contents of fat, sugar or salt, which exposed them to the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) caused by poor diet during their lives.

Television advertising is responsible for a large share of the marketing of unhealthy foods and, according to available evidence, advertisements influence children’s food preferences, purchase requests and consumption patterns, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In May last year, WHO member States endorsed a new set of recommendations on the marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children. The recommendations call for national and international action to reduce the exposure of children to marketing messages that promote foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, or salt, and to reduce the use of powerful techniques to market them to children.

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