Commitment 3: Continued
Our Global Commitment
IFBA members embraced the recommendations by experts for action on the part of food companiesAnd committed to reducing children exposure to the marketing of foods high in fat, sugar and salt and increasing their exposure to foods and beverages compatible with a balanced diet and healthy active lifestyle. Due to these voluntary efforts, there has been a significant change in how and what IFBA member companies advertise to children globally and what products children now regularly see on TV, in print or on websites.
In May 2008, IFBA pledged in a letter to the World Health Organization to implement individual company policies on food and beverage marketing communications consistently across the globe. In a follow-up letter to WHO Director General Dr. Chan in December 2008, IFBA confirmed it was on track to implement its commitment.
Childhood obesity is a serious public health issue. Its causes are multi-faceted and far-reaching, and solving this problem requires a “whole of society” approach. In one of the most comprehensive studies to date on the subject, the UK Government’s Foresight Office in the Government Office for Science developed a complex web of interconnected determinants which lead to overweight and obesity.
This obesity system map identified more than 100 factors. Although exposure to food advertising is only a small element among this complex web, IFBA is committed to be part of the solution and has taken decisive action in restricting marketing and advertising to children.
In 2009, IFBA members established a policy on responsible marketing to children. This policy provides minimum criteria for advertising and marketing communications that are paid for, or controlled by, IFBA companies in every country where they market their products. The policy was developed and adopted by IFBA members in furtherance of their commitment to the WHO 2004 the 2004 Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. It builds upon existing commitments to the ICC self-regulatory codes and is in line with the policy aim of the WHO 2010 the 2004 Set of Recommendations on the Marketing of Foods and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children. Under the policy, which applies to advertising in child-directed media on TV, in print and on the internet, each IFBA member commits either to only advertise those products that meet specific nutrition criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines, or not to advertise products at all, to children under the age of 12. Since product portfolios vary widely, for companies advertising to children the nutrition criteria are decided by each company individually and made public. IFBA members also commit not to engage in product marketing communications to students in primary schools, except if requested by, or agreed with, the school administration for educational purposes. A commitment to transparency and accountability underpins this policy and each year IFBA engages a third-party monitor to verify compliance with the policy.This policy is an evolving process and IFBA members have and will continue to, look to enhance it over time. In November 2011, the policy was strengthened to ensure more programming is covered and to improve coverage in the online world.
Read the IFBA Global Policy on Marketing and Advertising to Children>
Third-party monitoring studies of the impact of this approach have demonstrated a significant change in the nutritional profile of products advertised to children increasing their exposure to products compatible with a balanced diet and active, healthy lifestyles and reducing their exposure to products high in fat, sugar and salt.
Read IFBA members' marketing policies:
IFBA Global Policy on Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children. IFBA companies have agreed to reduce the exposure of children to marketing communications for products high in fat, sugar and salt, in every country where they operate around the world.
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25 February 2014
Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade Report