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There’s been some promising developments around the world. In what has been labelled “no-fry zones”, Dublin City Council is planning to ban fast food developments within 250 metres of schools. There have been many community campaigns around Australia against fast food developments, however planning regulations around obesity prevention have not been successfully used to stop a fast food development.

Chile is bringing in a range of measures to address obesity and in particular childhood obesity, including banning food advertising to children under 14 years. The ban also covers restrictions on “commercial hooks” such as toys and incentives that are used to promote foods. Examples of such hooks, according to the head of public policy at the Health Ministry, are toys sold with Happy Meals and Kinder Surprise. In a perplexing interpretation, the Australian self-regulatory initiative, the Quick Service Restaurant Initiative, does not consider these toys as advertising but a part of the meal itself.


Busted

You might not be surprised to hear that much of the food and drink endorsed by music celebrities is unhealthy. A recent study has analysed the media reports and websites of the music celebrities in the 2013 and 2014 Billboard Hot 100 Charts. They found 65 celebrities associated with 57 different foods and beverages. Over 70% of the drinks endorsed by the celebrities were sugar sweetened beverages and over 80% of the food was unhealthy. The celebrities with the most food and beverage endorsements were Baauer, will.i.am, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, and Britney Spears.

Such endorsements have the potential to influence adolescents as music celebrities act as role models for youth and even tweens. With high obesity rates, positive role modelling is needed to help children and young people lead a healthy lifestyle.

Bragg MA, Miller AN, Elizee J, Dighe S, Elbel BD. Popular Music Celebrity Endorsements in Food and Nonalcoholic Beverage Marketing. Pediatrics 2016