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The UK Just Announced A Ban Of Online Junk Food Ads To Take On Child Obesity

Photo: Kid Around Magazine

Childhood obesity is a major issue in countries across the world, with advertising of junk food targeted to kids often cited as a huge driver of this epidemic. The UK has just taken a strong stance against this type of advertising.

Their Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) just announced a complete ban on advertising foods that are high in fat, salt, and/or sugar (known as HFSS foods). This ban, scheduled to begin July 1st of next year, includes traditional advertising methods, like television commercials, product placement in movies/TV shows, and print advertising.

What’s huge for this particular ban, however, is that it also includes online and social media advertising of HFSS foods. This comes in response to research that children are spending more time on the internet than on TV for the first time in history.

A summation of what the rules exactly entail are as follows, according to the CAP’s website:

Ads that directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media

 

Ads for HFSS products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience

 

Ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to use promotions, licensed characters and celebrities popular with children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote healthier options

 

The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS

While junk food advertising has been banned in UK’s children show’s for around a decade, but online advertising bans are definitely a new angle. Quebec is one of the few other countries to have already banned electronic advertising of junk foods – and has the lowest childhood obesity rate in all of Canada.

In comparison, the U.S. has voluntary initiatives, like the Child’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, that companies can undertake to pledge to not advertise to specific age groups. No hard bans exist on this advertising, however, which may be a reason why the United States has one of the world’s fastest-growing rates in childhood obesity.

Maybe we could take a lesson or two from our friends across the pond.

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Hit-Or-Miss

This Lady Is Giving Out ‘Fat Letters’ Instead of Candy For Halloween

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Insert obligatory tricks over treats joke, here.

An anonymous woman in North Dakota has informed her neighbors that she will not be giving some of their children candy this Halloween because they are, in her opinion, “moderately obese.”

The offending letter has been republished online by North Dakoka news site Valley News Live, who reports it first got public attention after the author spoke out on a local radio show:

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According to Valley News, the anonymous Debbie Downer also discussed the motives behind her little stunt, saying “I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight… I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it.”

Well, we think it’s really irresponsible to fat-shame five year olds on a sugar high (who also ostensibly have access to tons of eggs and toilet paper), and our hope is that the parents of West Fargo will step up and not allow grouchy neighborhood bullies to ruin their kids’ fun. Yeesh.

H/T + PicThx Valley News

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Video

A Series of Moody PSAs Targeting Obese Children [VIDEOS]

Apparently, Georgia has the second highest childhood obesity rate in the United States [GBP]. According to this latest round of Public Service Announcements from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, 75% of parents with overweight kids ignore the problem.

As part of the message, the noisemakers against Childhood Obesity are telling stories about the dangers, through the rouse of 5 children: Bobby, Tamika, Tina, Maritza and Jaden. It’s not being argued that these PSAs are out for a noble end goal, but a question we’d like to pose is, are these videos crossing the line from a “concerned” tone to a “damaging” one?

Young Bobby, in the first of video of the series, has a quick sit down with his mother in which he tragically asks,

Mom. Why am I fat?

We’ve embedded all five videos below, you be the judge:

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Hit-Or-Miss

Depressing Facts on the Childhood Obesity Epidemic [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ready to feel good and jumpstart your day? Well, do that a different day. Here’s an intermission from a study out of USC that reminds us of notions that children spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, 4.5 of which are spent watching TV. Not that we help the cause at all, but the infographic points out that the average teen eats fast food twice a week, and only 3 out of 10 high schoolers report eating vegetables every day.

Without further ado, we’ll let the USC School of Education jump right in and showcase their new Childhood Obesity Epidemic infographic so you can know a bit more facts about health and nutrition amidst today’s youth. The infographic is a timely integration into this week’s celebration of National School Lunch Week, which runs from October 10 to October 14th, and stresses the importance of the 2011 theme — Let’s Grow Healthy.