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Marketing of Foods to Children through Food Packaging Is Almost Exclusively Linked to Unhealthy Foods

Nutrition Institute, Tržaška cesta 40, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051128
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
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Abstract

The nutritional composition of foods marketed to children is important, as it can significantly influence children’s preferences. The objective of this research was to evaluate the presence of child-oriented food products in the food supply and to investigate their nutritional composition. The sample included 8191 prepacked foods in the Slovenian food supply available in the market in 2015. The nutrient profile (World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe nutrient profile model) of the products with child-targeted promotions was compared to the nutrient profile of those without child-targeted promotions. Food categories with the highest proportion of products with child-focused promotions were “Breakfast Cereals” (17%), “Chocolate and Sugar Confectionery” (15%) and “Edible Ices” (13%). Altogether, 93% of all products with child-focused promotions and 73% of products without such promotions were classified as “not permitted”. The proportion of “not permitted” foods was significantly higher in products with child-targeted promotions, compared with products without child-targeted promotions (p < 0.0001), and this trend was observed in a majority of food categories. To protect children from exposure to the marketing of foods with less favourable nutritional compositions, public health strategies should be focused also towards limiting promotions of unhealthy foods to children on product packaging, not only in media. View Full-Text
Keywords: food marketing; children; food packaging; nutritional composition; nutrient profiling food marketing; children; food packaging; nutritional composition; nutrient profiling
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Lavriša, Ž.; Pravst, I. Marketing of Foods to Children through Food Packaging Is Almost Exclusively Linked to Unhealthy Foods. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1128.

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