Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

Marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children

Set of recommendations

In May 2010, at the Sixty-third World Health Assembly, the WHO Member States endorsed a set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children (resolution WHA63.14). The recommendations were developed in response to a request made by Member States in May 2007 (resolution WHA60.23).

The main purpose of the recommendations is to guide efforts by Member States in designing new and/or strengthening existing policies on food marketing communications to children in order to reduce the impact on children of marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, or salt.

Unhealthy diet is a risk factor for noncommunicable diseases. The risks presented by unhealthy diets start in childhood and build up throughout life. In order to reduce future risk of noncommunicable diseases children should maintain a healthy weight and consume foods that are low in saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, and salt. Unhealthy diets are associated with overweight and obesity, conditions that have increased rapidly in children around the world over recent years.

Evidence on the extent, nature and effects of food marketing to children shows that advertising is extensive and other forms of food marketing to children are widespread across the world. Most of this marketing is for foods with a high content of fat, sugar or salt. Evidence also shows that television advertising influences children’s food preferences, purchase requests and consumption patterns and that increasingly children are being exposed to a wide range of other marketing techniques. Food marketing to children is now a global phenomenon and tends to be pluralistic and integrated, using multiple messages in multiple channels.

The set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children was endorsed by the Sixty-third World Health Assembly in May 2010 and urges Member States to take action at national level and to cooperate to put in place the means necessary to reduce the impact of cross-border marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, or salt.

A full description of the process to develop a set of recommendations is provided in the link below.

Documents related to the recommendations

Related links

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