WHO urges to protect children from advertizing of unhealthy products

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Baku, February 20, AZERTAC

The European Regional Bureau of the World Health Organization (WHO) tries to help the countries to protect children from advertizing unhealthy foodstuff.

As is stated, WHO is concerned with the fact that children regularly become a target for advertizing of the foodstuff and drinks containing saturated fats, acids, sugar and salt. The similar food allowance causes obesity which in the European region grows into an epidemic. Excess body weight in the countries of the European region is now observed at 27 percent of children at the age of 13 years and 33 percent of children at the age of 11 years. And excess weight is risk factor of many noninfectious diseases.

Experts confirm that one of the reasons for this is the challenge of identifying foods whose marketing should be restricted, whether on television, the Internet, billboards or any other channel. A first step in developing policies to restrict marketing to children is to establish the criteria that identify such foods and drinks. To meet this need, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has developed a nutrient profile model for countries to adapt and use to classify foods according to their nutritional composition. Policy-makers across the Region will be able to use this tool to determine whether a food product may not be marketed to children.

The question is that marketing of foods high in energy, fats, sugars or salt has a documented harmful impact on children: it promotes the development of unhealthy food preferences and diets, and childhood obesity, thus contributing to the later development of diet-related non-communicable diseases. Policies that introduce tighter controls on the marketing of foods to children will be central to fight childhood obesity.

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