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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011 Apr;6(2):83-94. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2010.486836. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

Regulating the commercial promotion of food to children: a survey of actions worldwide.

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  • 1Consulting Services, Food and Nutrition Policy, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe the global regulatory environment around food marketing to children in 2009 and to identify changes in this environment since 2006.

METHODS:

Informants able to provide information on national controls on marketing to children were identified and sent a standardised template for data collection, developed and refined through iterative use with informants. Responses were encouraged by sending draft versions of completed templates to informants for their approval.

RESULTS:

The policy environment was described in the 27 member states of the European Union, and in a further 32 countries. Of these 59 countries, 26 have made explicit statements on food marketing to children in strategy documents, and 20 have, or are developing, explicit policies in the form of statutory measures, official guidelines or approved forms of self-regulation. These figures reflect a change in the policy environment since 2006. Although there is still resistance to change, there has been significant movement towards greater restriction on promotional marketing to children, achieved through a variety of means. Government-approved forms of self-regulation have been the dominant response, but statutory measures are increasingly being adopted. The nature and degree of the restrictions differ considerably, with significant implications for policy impact. In many cases the policy objectives remain poorly articulated, resulting in difficulty in formulating indicators to monitor and assess impact.

CONCLUSION:

To address food marketing to children, governments need to develop clearer statements of the objectives to be achieved, define the indicators that can demonstrate this achievement, and require the relevant stakeholders to account for the progress being made.

PMID:
20874086
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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