Call to protect children from the marketing of nutritionally poor food: Time for an effective regulatory framework

The EU has recognised the marketing of unhealthy food as a major public health concern for over 15 yearsever since its 2005 Obesity Prevention Green Paper. More recently, the EU has also acknowledged that the marketing of unhealthy food has significant implications for children’s rights.
Together with 16 other organisations, EUPHA is convinced that legislative reforms must be driven by evidence, not by an unsubstantiated belief in self-regulation.

On World Obesity Day, we reiterate our calls to the EU:

  • end the marketing of unhealthy food between 6 am and 11 pm on broadcast media;
  • end the marketing of unhealthy food ondigital media;
  • end the sponsorshipby food brands of events with cross-border effects, unless brands can prove that such sponsorship is not associated with unhealthy food; and end the use of marketing techniques appealing to children for the promotion of unhealthy foodparticularly on food packaging;
  • define a child as any person below the age of 18;
  • define unhealthy food using the WHO Europe nutrient profile model that is widely accepted in Europe as objective, independent of industry’s interests, and fit for purpose.