Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Young Children Warned About Junk Food Marketing

Children as young as 11 are being warned about junk-food marketing with a new website ‘Chew On This’

The website, launched by The Food Commission, follows publication of a new research report from Which? highlighting 40 ways in which children are targeted by companies marketing unhealthy foods using increasingly sophisticated techniques.

The Chew On This website takes a no-nonsense approach to inform young people of the health effects of eating high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt foods; the lack of useful information on food labels; and the many modern processing techniques that diminish the nutritional value of food. It also examines the enormous advertising budgets available to junk-food manufacturers, and encourages young people to question why so many film-stars, cartoon characters, sports stars and pop singers help to promote unhealthy products to children and teenagers. One section of the website ‘Trigger an impulse purchase’ shows a man standing next to a display of chocolates.

The text reads: “This man’s job is to think of new ways to sell chocolate. He arranges for shops to display products near where people have to queue. He says the reason he does this is to ‘put temptation within the shopper’s reach’. “Next time you’re in a shop, look around when you’re near the checkout. Salesmen know you are likely to be tired, hungry and annoyed about having to queue - in just the right mood to reach out and grab an extra snack.” Kath Dalmeny of the Food Commission said: “We’ve got to help young people and their families become much more savvy about the ways food companies infiltrate unhealthy food messages into the lives of children and teenagers.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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