WHO: Inconsistencies might change healthy vending implementation
The World Health Assembly unanimously adopted recommendations on the marketing of foods and soft drinks for children, in 2010, but a follow-up report revealed that implementation of WHO’s recommendations were inconsistent.
WHO’s concerns were focused on the decreasing the high rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, and aimed towards reducing the impact that marketing junk food has on youth– particularly foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS.)
Regulations like the Front Of Label nutrition packaging in Canada, and the Smart Vending program are ways of curbing the way young consumers are accessing snacks that are high in HFSS. However, the WHO discovered that there are other ways in which youth are targeted for marketing.
Youth under the age of 13 have access to advertising on social media, despite legislation that is in place to protect those under that age range. Children are exposed to store or television product displays, and packaging and sponsorship of HFSS foods. The WHO’s recommendation stated that HFSS foods require “explicitly defined nutritional criteria or thresholds.”
This might change the way Smart Vending is established in Canada, and could affect the inventory of most automated sales devices. It could also establish a channel for online or digital advertisers to reach target youth markets.
The WHO report can be read here: Evaluating implementation of the WHO set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.
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