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WHO’s ‘too much’ tool will help fight obesity and the rise of diabetes

Addressing the fact that across the World Health Organisation’s European Region children are regularly exposed to marketing that promotes foods and drinks high in energy, saturated fats, trans fatty acids, sugars and salt, 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.

It should help governments with 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. Policy-makers across the Region will be able to use this tool to determine whether a food product may not be marketed to children.

Marketing foods high in energy, fats, sugars or salt has a documented harmful impact on children promoting the development of unhealthy food preferences and diets, and childhood obesity, thus contributing to the later development of diet-related non-communicable diseases such as diabetes. Research has demonstrated that overweight children in particular respond to the presence of branded food packaging by increasing their consumption.

This news item first appeared in Desang Diabetes Magazine, our free-to-receive digital journal. We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes kit) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet. Go to the top of this page to sign up – we just need your email address.

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