Monday, January 24, 2011

Childhood Obesity: Advertising in the crosshairs

Over 42 million children under five are overweight or obese. Gold food advertising to children promotes unhealthy eating habits. "The widespread distribution and extensive marketing of many of these foods, especially foods high in fat, sugar or salt, undermine efforts to eat healthily and maintain a normal weight, especially when it comes to children, "warns the World Health Organization (WHO). It therefore adopted in May 2010, a set of recommendations to its member states, she has published on its website. Objective: that states change their policies on food marketing communications to children. "We must work to ensure that children everywhere are safe from the marketing and can grow and develop in a favorable food environment," recommended by WHO. 
She suggests, for example to reduce children's exposure to commercials for fatty, sugary or salty, or not to sell this type of food in places open to gatherings of children (kindergartens, schools, playgrounds, etc..).
Overweight and obesity are currently fifth in the world risk of death. Weight problems in childhood may continue into adulthood and cause non-communicable diseases types cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases or diabetes, caused 35 million deaths per year.

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