WHO Urges Policy-Makers to Tackle Hidden Digital Marketing of Unhealthy Food to Children

A new and comprehensive analysis of digital marketing to children of foods high in fats, salt and sugars in the WHO European Region is now available. In the absence of effective regulation of digital media in many European countries, the WHO European region calls for immediate action by policy-makers to recognize and address the growing challenge of marketing targeted to children via digital media. As our “most vulnerable population, children are exposed to countless hidden digital marketing techniques promoting foods high in fat, sugar and salt,” said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. A core policy recommendation of WHO is reducing childrens’ exposure to all forms of food marketing of products high in fats, salt and sugars.


The Ethics of Childhood Obesity Treatment


With the American Medical Association’s recent declaration that obesity is a serious disease [1] , a critical consideration of the ethics of treating childhood obesity is especially timely. Although data suggest that the childhood obesity epidemic has stabilized in some countries [2] , the levels remain too high; 18–49% of European children are overweight [3] .  Consequently there is an immense and urgent need for the effective treatment of this complex disease. Unfortunately, the most recent Cochrane review concludes that, although familybased interventions can reduce excess weight in children and adolescents, long-term, effective and sustainable interventions for childhood obesity have yet to be identified.

Read the full paper – COTF Ethics Sept 2014