Tag Archives children

Researchers have released a study concluding that rates of childhood obesity are rising rather than declining or stabilizing as previously reported. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers reportedly found that although the prevalence of obesity has increased across all childhood age groups since 1999, “significant increases in obesity and severe obesity” have appeared in children aged two to five and adolescent females aged 16 to 19. Asheley C. Skinner, et al., “Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in US Children, 1999-2016,” Pediatrics, March 2018. The researchers reported that they observed “disconcerting” racial-ethnic differences in obesity rates, with African-Americans and Hispanics having a higher prevalence of obesity while Asian-American children had a lower prevalence in all age and sex categories. Specifically, the researchers noted “astounding” differences between Hispanic children and those of all other races, finding nearly half of all Hispanic youth overweight or obese. Researchers purportedly…

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that the Guinness World Records holder for hacky sack kicks has no valid claims for false advertisement, false endorsement or right of publicity against Wendy’s International Inc., which distributed a hacky sack with a children’s meal and challenged children to break the plaintiff's record. Martin v. Wendy's Int'l Inc., No. 15-6998 (7th Cir., entered March 9, 2018). An Illinois district court previously dismissed the plaintiff’s suit for failure to state a claim. “No reasonable consumer would think [the plaintiff] endorsed the footbags,” the appellate court held, because “Guinness World Records” was printed on both the toy and its packaging and the instructional card identified the plaintiff as the holder of the record rather than an endorser. The court also found that “no reasonable consumer would believe that free toys accompanying kids’ meals to encourage intra-family play were the same…

The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two challenges to television ads, one for Aldi Stores Ltd. and one for The Wrigley Co.'s Extra chewing gum, ruling that neither can be aired again. In the Aldi ad, "Kevin the Carrot,” an advertising mascot, was used to advertise alcohol beverages in a parody of “The Sixth Sense.” The ad began with Kevin saying, “I see dead parsnips,” and featured a voice-over explaining, “Kevin was feeling a little bit tense. He thought there were spirits. He had a sixth sense. As it turned out, his instincts were right. There were a few spirits that cold Christmas night.” Throughout the ad, various alcohol beverages appear. The ad was challenged on the grounds that the ad was likely to appeal to minors because the main character was a child's toy. Aldi argued that the ad was part of its 2017 holiday parody series…

After reviewing an ad for Subway’s “Fresh Fit for Kid’s Meal” featuring premium toys and offering a sweepstakes for a tablet, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has recommended that the restaurant chain clearly disclose material information and avoid sales pressure when advertising to children. CARU determined that while the contest rules were available on Subway’s website, the ad itself did not disclose that the contest was only open to those 18 and older, did not provide a free means of entry and did not disclose the odds of winning the tablet. CARU also found that the language “Hurry into Subway … otherwise you’ll miss out” could create undue sales pressure on children. CARU recommended that future ads contain audible disclosures understandable to children, and Subway agreed to take the recommendations into account.

JAMA Pediatrics has retracted a 2012 study authored by Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, because of “inadequate oversight of data collection and pervasive errors in the analyses and reporting.” The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, reported that children ages 8-11 were about 30 percent more likely to choose an apple with a cartoon-character sticker over a unbranded cookie, concluding that “brands and cartoon characters” could increase consumption of healthier foods in school lunchrooms. A reader reportedly sent Wansink a letter in February 2017 noting several errors and the study data was rechecked. In September, Wansink sent JAMA Pediatrics a notice of retraction and replacement acknowledging that the researchers “inadvertently provided an incorrect description of the study design and sample size, used an inadequate statistical procedure, and presented a mislabeled bar graph.” After that notice was published, Wansink said the Robert…

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a guide encouraging agricultural companies to enact child-­labor policies to combat abuse in the industry. The guide offers "practical steps to ensure that programmes contribute to safe employment and training opportunities for youth and that activities intended to support vulnerable families do not have the unintended consequence of encouraging child labour," according to a June 12, 2017, press release. "The agriculture sector holds great potential before, during and after crises, to save lives and contribute to livelihoods, support rural households, provide decent employment and alternatives to child labour, including its worst forms," FAO Assistant Director-General Kostas Stamoulis was quoted as saying.   Issue 638

Responding to a challenge from Ragù® ­maker Mizkan Americas Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that Campbell Soup Co. change broadcast ads featuring toddlers as “life­-long pasta experts,” finding the ads are “puffery” and do not contain “a claim about the preferences of toddlers.” The ads showed a split­-screen with one child eating and one child refusing the food. Campbell Soup said the claim was substantiated by a “statistically significant” taste test conducted with subjects aged six or older comparing Prego® and Ragù® sauces, but NAD said the ads did not contain a provable claim that young children prefer one sauce over another.   Issue 637

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has announced new recommendations limiting the amount of fruit juice that children consume to reduce the risk of obesity and dental caries. Whole fruit is preferable to fruit juice for nutrition and healthy weight gain, the group stated, because 100 percent juice is mostly water, with small amounts of vitamins and minerals and no fiber. The recommendations further specify that infants should not have fruit juice at all during their first year, and toddlers should be limited to 4 ounces a day. AAP also recommends that juices be pasteurized to reduce the risk of E. coli, Salmonella and Cryptosporidium.   Issue 636

The University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has released a study on TV food advertising viewed by preschoolers, children and adolescents, claiming that “food advertising exposure increased with age for both black and white youth, but black youth viewed approximately 50% or more ads than did white youth of the same age.” F. Fleming-Milici and J. L. Harris, “Television food advertising viewed by preschoolers, children and adolescents: contributors to differences in exposure for black and white youth in the United States,” Pediatric Obesity, December 2016. Based on Nielsen panel data gathered between 2008 and 2012, the study reports that “increases in food-ads-per-hour increased exposure for all youth,” but that greater TV viewing and higher rates of advertising “on youth- and black-targeted networks both contributed to black youth’s greater exposure.” “Four product categories contributed almost 60% of food ads viewed by all youth in 2012: breakfast cereals,…

The RAND Corp. has published a study claiming that “most kids’ menu items offered by the nation’s top 200 restaurant chains exceed the calorie counts recommended by nutrition experts,” according to a December 5, 2016, press release. Relying on the recommendations of 15 child nutrition experts—including Public Health Institute Advisor Lynn Silver and Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity Director Marlene Schwartz—the study authors adopted the following benchmarks: (i) a maximum of 300 calories for the main dishes in children’s meals; (ii) 100 calories for a serving of fried potatoes; (iii) 150 calories for soups, appetizers and snacks; and (iv) 150 calories for vegetables and salads that included added sauces, with the entire meal not to exceed 600 calories. The study singles out fried potatoes as the item “that most often exceeded the calorie guidelines.” As the authors conclude, “Given the high frequency of children dining away from home,…

Close