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Anti- Junk Food Campaign

By danielelv - Posted on 19 January 2010

 Codaction is in favour of increased EU regulation over the way foods that are high in sugar and fat are marketed to children. It’s time for European governments to act!

Children ask for a specific food or drink because they’ve seen it advertised, to receive a gift-with-purchase, to enter a sweepstakes; or because a character or celebrity was involved in the packaging or promotion.

Children don’t have the knowledge to make good decisions on the right foods to eat. They don’t understand the long-term impacts of poor nutrition.

Codaction is campaigning to reform the way food companies are allowed to market high-fat and high-sugar foods to children as part of a global consumer campaign to end the harm caused to children through the promotion of unhealthy foods.

Obesity is now a global epidemic, with one in ten children being overweight.

For all these reasons Codaction is asking the EU to take a clear position, harmonizing European legislation by adopting the following measures:


A) Fast Food Advertising to Children

 Enforce stricter European advertising laws as well as ban the use of cartoon/celebrity characters from junk food promotions.

We ask for a complete ban on advertising of unhealthy foods to children under 12, at the time they watch television, i.e. between 9 pm .

In Europe fast food advertising campaigns are not as highly regulated as some other products, such as those imposed on alcohol advertising!

It's also important to disassociate television and film characters from fast food and to stop celebrities from appearing in such advertisements.

New studies find that food is the top product seen advertised by children.


2) Fat tax

A fat tax, placed upon fattening foods, aims to discourage unhealthy diets.

Such a tax would ibe based both on fat and sugar content.

Numerous studies suggest that as the price of a food increases, consumption of that food decreases.

 In fact, eating behavior may be more responsive to price increases than to nutritional education.

Estimates suggest that a 1 cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages may reduce the consumption of those beverages by 25%.

To implement a fat tax, it is necessary to specify with care which food and beverage products will be targeted.



3) Special Food Labels

This involves the front of the food package having red, amber and green colours to indicate whether a product has high, medium or low levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar or salt. The concept is that it will make it easier for people to choose healthier options.

It would also put increased pressure on food manufacturers to boost the health of their products as a lot of red on the front of their product would not look good.