Marketing to children

 

Background

The World Health Organization and health organizations worldwide are leading efforts to ensure children everywhere are protected against food and beverage marketing. Children are exposed to multiple forms of marketing as food and beverage companies spend billions of dollars targeting this group. Voluntary measures seem to be ineffective in changing the overall marketing environment. As such, policies need to be put in place to protect children from food and beverage marketing.

Position

The commercial marketing of all food and beverages to children and youth aged 16 years and younger should be restricted. Restrictions would include all forms of marketing with the exception of non-commercial marketing for public education purposes. Dietitians of Canada has adopted the “Ottawa Principles” from the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition.

Actions

  • In 2010, Dietitians of Canada released its own position paper, Advertising of Food and Beverages to Children. Since then we have been working with other health organizations, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Childhood Obesity Foundation and the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada to examine current and evolving evidence related to the impacts of marketing on children's behaviour and choices, for the purpose of collaborating to set new policy directions that protect children's rights.
  • In November 2015 in our letter of welcome to the new Minister of Health we noted our support for restrictions on advertising to children and reiterated this position when we met with her on February 22, 2016.
  • On February 24, 2016 we became a Supporting Partner of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition that released the Ottawa Principles which call for policies and regulations to effectively protect children from commercial food and beverage marketing.

Resources

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Advertising to Children

Listen to Dr. Judy Sheeshka, researcher and author of DC’s position on advertising to children, discuss this important issue.