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UK: Junk food ads play on parents’ fears

The British Heart Foundation investigated how children’s breakfast foods and lunchbox snacks are marketed to parents. They were not impressed.  According to their news release:

Food manufacturers are misleading parents by exploiting legal loopholes and making spurious health claims in the marketing of food high in fats, sugars and salt.

Their report … reveals how food companies use five main techniques to play on parent’s fears and aspirations and manipulate their ability to make healthy choices for their children.

  • Quality claims to hide true nutritional content
  • Selective nutritional claims to distract parents from the full picture
  • Selective health claims to deceive parents
  • Emotional insight to empathise with mothers about some of the difficulties in raising a family
  • Imagery to entice and mislead parents.

The report gives examples of these techniques in action.

The foundation is calling for the government to ban all junk food advertising on TV before 9:00 pm to prevent children and parents from being misled.

Read the report: How Parents Are Being Misled

Read more: British Heart Foundation news, 14 Dec 2008



Published on December 14, 2008 in International news