WHO: Stop Showing Junk Food Ads On Kids' Apps

First Posted: Nov 07, 2016 04:16 AM EST

These days when children have become more technologically adept, they are likewise becoming prone to advertisement influences. Apparently, among these ads are those involving junk foods. In the midst of such happening, WHO wants to stop junk food ads particularly those found in kids' apps.

According to BBC, WHO says there is a need for children to be protected from the prevalent junk food ads in social media, video blogs, and kids'apps. It likewise warned that parents are often unaware of the numerous ads precisely targeting children. Likewise, WHO criticized governments saying they failed to keep up with a revolution in the way people use media.

Meanwhile, children's doctors said there is also a great need for strict measures to fight obesity. WHO's report pointed out that junk food retailers pay some video bloggers or vloggers to promote their food. It also stated that vloggers have become more influential in promoting brands and items compared with TV or film.  Lastly, discussed the way fast food chains encourage kids by making their restaurants important areas for reality games; for instance, Pokémon Go.

According to Dr. Joao Breda, the aforementioned junk food ads are more dangerous than traditional media. In other countries like the UK, rules on protecting children from junk food ads in children's television have been introduced but regulations failed to keep up with the change in media. Breda is the WHO programme manager for nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

Known to many, consuming too much junk foods and other unhealthy items can lead to childhood obesity. At present, this condition is among the leading health problems worldwide. India Times reported that 268 million children are predicted to suffer from obesity in 2050. The most vulnerable will be children aged five to 17. Experts stressed that parents should think twice when feeding their children.

As of writing, WHO is reviewing what food items should be advertised to children in different means including kids' apps. According to Dr. Alison Tedstone, their evidence review suggests that all advertising and marketing types affects the balance of children's diets. Dr. Tedstone is Public Health England chief nutritionist.

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