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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative’s Uniform Nutrition Criteria for Restricting Children’s Food and Beverage Marketing in Canada

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada
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School of Nutrition & Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods, Laval University, Québec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070803
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
Imposing governmental restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children is a demanded policy action since in Canada, this remains self-regulated by the voluntary, industry-led Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI) whose participants pledge to only advertise products that satisfy its Uniform Nutrition Criteria to children. This study evaluated the stringency of this nutrient profiling (NP) model for restricting child-directed food and beverage marketing in Canada. Data was obtained from the University of Toronto Food Label Information Program (FLIP) 2013 database, providing nutritional information for 15,342 packaged products which were evaluated using the CAI Uniform Nutrition Criteria. Products with child-directed packaging and those from CAI participating companies were identified. Of the n = 15,231 products analyzed, 25.3% would be allowed and 57.2% would be restricted from being marketed to children according to the CAI Criteria. Additionally, 17.5% of products lacked criteria by which to evaluate them. Child-directed products represented 4.9% of all products; however, 74.4% of these would be restricted from being marketed to children under CAI standards. Products from CAI participating companies represented 14.0% of all products and 33.3% of child-directed products; 69.5% of which would be restricted from being marketed to children. These results indicate that if the CAI was mandatory and covered a broader range of advertising platforms, their Uniform Nutrition Criteria would be relatively stringent and could effectively restrict children’s marketing in Canada. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; marketing; children; nutrient profiling nutrition; marketing; children; nutrient profiling
MDPI and ACS Style

Mulligan, C.; Labonté, M.-È.; Vergeer, L.; L’Abbé, M.R. Assessment of the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative’s Uniform Nutrition Criteria for Restricting Children’s Food and Beverage Marketing in Canada. Nutrients 2018, 10, 803.

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