More action is needed to reduce advertising of foods high in salt, sugar and fat to children

A new report released by the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) raises concern that exposure to advertising for junk food is not decreasing enough.

According to this report the request from European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou for food and beverage companies to cut advertising to children, is still to be fully achieved. In many cases companies are allowed to set their own standards of what is classified as unhealthy and healthy foods. “Self regulation simply does not work in a highly competitive marketplace,” says Tim Lobstein author of IASO’s new report A Junk-Free Childhood 2012: Marketing foods and beverages to children in Europe.

The WHO Action Plan for implementation of the European Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2012−2016 specifically identifies promoting healthy consumption via fiscal and marketing policies as one of the five priority interventions where large health gains can be achieved. Norway is currently pushing for a proposal to restrict advertising all advertising of junk food targeting under-eighteens.