e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Reducing the impact of marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages on children

Advertising and other forms of food and beverage marketing to children are widespread across the world and are influencing children’s food preferences, purchase requests and consumption patterns. A significant amount of this marketing is for products with a high content of fat, sugars or salt, consumption of which may increase the risk of overweight, obesity or certain noncommunicable diseases.

Overweight and obese children are at higher risk of developing serious health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other respiratory problems, sleep disorders and liver disease. They may also suffer from psychological effects, such as low self-esteem, depression and social isolation. Childhood obesity also increases the risk of obesity, noncommunicable diseases, premature death and disability in adulthood.

WHO recommendations

WHO has developed a set of 12 recommendations, endorsed by the World Health Assembly, aimed at reducing the impact of marketing foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars or salt.


The recommendations can be found in the guidance document, Set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, under ‘WHO documents’ below and are summarized in the guidance summary.

WHO documents

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents


Related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

17 October 2016 16:41 CEST

Category 1 intervention

Recommendations or other forms of guidance have been adopted or endorsed by the World Health Assembly

Global targets

Implementation of this intervention may contribute to the achievement of the following targets:

Global nutrition targets

Target 4: No increase in childhood overweight

Global NCD targets

Target 4: A 30% relative reduction in mean population intake of salt/sodium

Target 6: A 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure or contain the prevalence of raised blood pressure, according to national circumstances

Target 7: Halt the rise in diabetes and obesity