Children around the world are becoming increasingly vulnerable to overweight and obesity. The International Obesity Taskforce estimates that around 45 million of the world’s school-age children are obese – about 3% of the population of children under 5 years old. It is widely recognized that the modern transformation of lifestyles, including widespread sedentary behaviours and dramatic increases in the consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar and low in nutrients, are behind the pandemic of obesity-related conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Moreover, a growing body of evidence links obesity-related health risks, particularly in children, with the intake of sugary soft drinks. These potentially harmful foods and beverages are marketed globally using highly effective and increasingly sophisticated tactics. Kaye Mehta asks whether the human cost of this successful marketing might be too high.
marketing, television, children, obesity, IOTF, Coalition on Food Advertising to Children