February 2018 Newsletter - Who is fed up with Junk Food Marketing to kids?

The Children's Food Campaign recently featured on BBC Newsnight showing how some companies continue to bend the rules on advertising sugary products to under-16s, on websites, social media and by producing games linked to their brands. If you missed it, you can watch here - including my first TV appearance as the new coordinator of the campaign!

The Advertising Standards Authority is now looking into some of the evidence we've gathered, to see if rules have been broken - in some cases it may be that the rules are still simply not clear or strong enough. In the meantime, Kinder (owned by Ferrero) immediately responded to one of our concerns, and has now changed the age restriction on its website from 12 to 16

What can we do?
1. Operation Eagle Eye! We're still on the lookout for examples of non-TV junk food marketing to kids in the form of websites targetting children directly, advergames for kids, TV and licensed cartoon character tie-ins with sugary, fatty or high-salt foods, cinema advertising, magazines, billboards. If you have seen any examples targetting kids, take a pic and send it to barbara@sustainweb.org - or share it on Twitter (tagging us @childrensfood) or our Facebook page.

2. Join the Parents' Jury! If you have children under-18 and want to share your views on how to improve the food our kids eat, then sign up to the Children's Food Campaign Parents' Jury - our next survey in March will be about junk food advertising, and we'd love to hear your views.

Government plans mean that one million children in poverty will miss out on Free School Meals
Thank you to everyone who responded to the government consultation on eligibility for Free School Meals under Universal Credit, and the campaign by our partner organisation The Children's Society - who tell us over 10,000 people took part. You can also read Sustain's organisational response to the consultation here.

The bad news is that the government has now announced plans to introduce a new net earnings threshold of £7400 for eligibility for Free School Meals under Universal Credit. This means that a huge opportunity to provide meals for an additional one million children living in poverty will now be missed. You can read more here.

Take Action Today!
1. Write to your MP now. The government plans should be debated in coming weeks in the House of Commons, and the Opposition has already put down a motion asking for the new regulation to be annulled. The campaign needs MPs from all political parties to challenge the regulation and its impact for all children in poverty. Use this handy e-action to find your MP and adapt a template letter.
2. Find out how many children in your area might be affected. Use this handy map from the Children's Society to find out how many children live in poverty will miss out on Free School Meals under the new regulation.

Other News:

Supermarkets unite to ban sale of energy drinks to under-16s
From March, major supermarkets will require ID for the purchase of energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull, following a successful #NotForChildren campaign by Action on Sugar and Jamie Oliver during January. First to announce a ban was Waitrose, and Aldi, Asda, Coop, Lidl, Morrisons and Tesco have now all supported an under-16s ban. The campaign is now calling on Jeremy Hunt, the Minister for Health, to introduce legislation so that independent shops and convenience stores are included.

New Veg Power campaign launches
Only 1.2% of food and soft drink advertising budgets promote healthy vegetables. The Food Foundation's new VEG POWER campaign aims to change that, by heroising the power of eating up your carrots!

Concentration of fast food outlets near schools rises by 67%
More than one in four takeaways is now within walking distance of a school, a rise of 67% in the last eight years. Read more here.

New Sugar Smart Campaigns launched across the UK
Cambridge, Calderdale, Carlisle, Croydon, Enfield and Redbridge are amongst the local communities who have launched new Sugar Smart Campaigns since the start of 2018, with lots of fantastic activities in schools, football clubs. Find out more about the campaign here.

What else to look out for this week!
Real Bread Week - 24 February to 4 March 2018
The annual, international celebration of local, independent real bread bakery, and a chance to get baking your own bread. More details here.

Fairtrade Fortnight - 26 February to 11 March 2018
Schools and youth clubs across the country will once again be taking part in the annual UK-wide Fairtrade Fortnight - lots of new ideas, films and classroom activities for primary and secondary schools here.

Editors Notes




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