From Your Health Journal…..”The Sydney Morning Herald is a great publication, and I highly recommend my visitors going to their site for many of their great articles. The article being reviewed today is from their paper regarding how unhealthy food is sold to children through marketing plans that sells a specific product using cartoon characters or a giveaway toy. An organization called the Obesity Policy Coalition said the federal government should ban marketers from using cartoon characters and giveaway toys to promote junk and unhealthy foods. So, it appears an interesting debate is brewing in Australia, similar to statements heard throughout the United States. Many years ago, I remember cigarette commercials on TV, which we do not see anymore. It came to the point where they were banned, because the commercials glorified smoking, and made an impression of ‘cool’ on children. Now, we wonder if something similar is going to happen with unhealthy foods? Time will tell, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Please visit the Sydney Morning Herald web site (listed below) to view the full article.”
From the article…..
Cartoon characters like the Paddle Pop Lion and Freddo Frog are being used increasingly across media platforms to lure children to unhealthy foods and should be banned, a health organisation has said.
While falling short of calling for ”plain packaging” on sugary and fatty foods, the Obesity Policy Coalition said the federal government should ban marketers from using cartoon characters and giveaway toys to promote junk and unhealthy foods.
A coalition spokesman, Professor Boyd Swinburn, said cartoon characters were the common factor used to draw children to fattening foods and drinks but companies were now using free online games, apps, movies and other new media to promote unhealthy food.
”Cartoon characters and toy giveaways are certainly the hook used to draw children in,” he said.
”It is a huge battle, akin to the battle with tobacco over plain packaging.”
Professor Swinburn said self-regulation had failed because some companies refused to sign up to industry codes and loopholes often allowed companies to escape criticism.
A Deakin University senior lecturer, Paul Harrison, said the food industry had allowed stricter rules on traditional advertising – whose power is on the wane – while developing online games, movies, product give-aways and health sponsorships.
These platforms ”flew under the radar” of regulators, Dr Harrison said.
In Advances in Communication Research to Reduce Childhood Obesity, released this month, Dr Harrison looked at the integrated marketing campaigns used for Nutri-Grain, Freddo Frogs and McDonald’s Happy Meals and how they appealed to children.
He said marketers often cleverly used no logos to avoid criticism, but instead used characters and colours associated with their products.
To read the full article…..Click here