WHO to target child obesity with food marketing restrictions

WHO to target child obesity with food marketing restrictionsAccording to guidelines to the 193 member states of the World Health Organization (WHO), health ministers are open to try reducing consumption of junk food and soft drinks by children through restriction of advertising and marketing.

The United Nations agency said that diet including huge amounts of sugar, fat, or salt contribute to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancers leading to 60 percent of all deaths worldwide.

From Reuters.com:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say two thirds of American adults and 15 percent of American children are overweight or obese.

“Since 1980, our obesity rates have doubled for adults and tripled for children,” Benjamin told a news briefing on Tuesday. “The problem is even worse for blacks, Hispanics and native American children.

The WHO recommendations include limiting children’s exposure to television advertising and making schools and playgrounds free from all forms of marketing of junk food and sugary drinks.

WHO adopted a global strategy on diet and physical activity in 2004, a year after clinching a treaty controlling tobacco.

On Thursday, ministers also agreed to curb binge drinking and other growing forms of excessive alcohol use through higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing regulations.

The plan was endorsed by U.S. Surgeon-General Regina Benjamin at the WHO’s annual ministerial meeting.

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