Click on the publications listed below to find out more information and download your copy.
- Through the Looking Glass: A review of topsy-turvy junk food marketing regulations
A review of the topsy turvy world of the regulations that are supposed to (but don’t) protect children from online marketing of junk food.
- The Obesity Games - junk food sponsorship of the Olympic Games
The inside track on the marketing strategies of Olympic food and soft drink sponsors, and the sponsorship deals behind them.
- Checkouts checked out - how supermarkets promote junk food to children and their parents
Results of a survey of national supermarkets and high-street chains. It found that food and drinks are regularly displayed at the checkouts and in the queuing areas in these stores, and the vast majority of the products are unhealthy and often within easy reach of children.
- The 21st century gingerbread house - how companies are marketing junk food to children online
This joint report from the Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) reveals the manipulative tactics junk food manufacturers use to hook children while they play online and entice them to eat foods loaded with fat, salt and sugar. The report assesses how junk food manufacturers bombard kids online in a bid to push these unhealthy products. The CFC and BHF are calling for consistent advertising regulations across all forms of media to protect children and their future health.
All the brands featured in the report are products which are high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS). Advertisements for these products can’t be shown during children’s television programmes because they fail the Food Standards Agency and Ofcom nutrient profiling test. Yet due to a loophole in advertising regulations, companies are allowed to market these products and brands freely via the internet.
- The Irresponsibility Deal? Why the Government’s Responsibility Deal is better for the food industry
This report analyses the Coalition Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, focusing on the pledges made by members of the food industry. This report shows that, in our view, the Responsibility Deal is not up to the task of reducing the serious health problems caused by our unhealthy diets.
- Soft Drinks, Hard Sell: How soft drink companies target children and their parents
The Children's Food Campaign conducted a survey of the summer’s soft drink marketing campaigns in 2011 that are likely to appeal to children and their parents. We compared the products with their marketing messages, across a range of brands, and found that in several cases, companies were using misleading marketing to sell more soft drinks to children.
- Every school a food-growing school
This 2012 report, complied by a coalition of gardening and education charities, highlights the benefits of food-growing activities in schools and makes the case for the Department for Education to ensure that every school provides the opportunity for children to reap these benefits.
- Thirsty play: a survey of drinking water provision in public parks
This survey of 140 parks around the UK found only 11% had fountains, and in only two thirds of these parks were any of the fountains working. This encourages thirsty children to turn to sugary alternatives or go without, both of which are bad for their health.
- Junk food for babies? An investigation into foods marketed for babies and young children
The UK baby food market is worth an estimated £315 million annually, and many food products marketed for babies and young children carry claims about their nutritional value, such as “added vitamins”, “contains calcium” or “no added salt”. Prompted by the discovery that a leading brand of biscuits for babies and young children contained trans fats, the Children’s Food Campaign undertook a survey of foods marketed for babies and young children, analysing the nutritional information provided for 107 foods marketed for babies and young children available from UK supermarkets. The findings were concerning.
- Through the Back Door: An exposé of educational material produced by the food industry
For many years parents and a range of public health groups have warned that children are being heavily targeted with marketing for junk food on, for example, TV, the internet and on posters near schools. However, largely hidden from parents, many companies have been developing materials for schools that are cleverly designed to promote their products in schools. These ‘teaching packs’ are usually available to download from company websites, although some packs are sent directly to schools. They are supposed to provide schools and children with factual and impartial ways of understanding the world around them. But this research by the Children’s Food Campaign has found a series of highly concerning features with this material.
- Protecting children from unhealthy food marketing
A British Heart Foundation and Children's Food Campaign proposal for a statutory system to regulate non-broadcast junk food advertising and marketing to children
- The Childrens Food Bill: Why we need a new law, not more voluntary approaches
This report places the crisis in children's diet-related health in the context of the unhealthy food environments which have become part-and-parcel of their every day lives. Using a range of examples from a number of policy areas (for example, control of tobacco advertising, alcohol promotion and marketing of breastmilk substitutes), the report explains how industry is unable, in a competitive market, to exercise the social responsibility required to make voluntary approaches successful. It also demolishes the many arguments used by the food and advertising industries to promote self-regulation rather than effective legislation.
- Broadcasting Bad Health: Why food marketing to children needs to be controlled
Researched and written by Sustain's Policy Director and the Director of the Food Commission, the Broadcasting Bad Health report was commissioned by the International Association of Consumer Food Organizations and prepared as submission to the 2003 World Health Organization consultation on a global strategy for diet and health. It makes the powerful case for controls on junk food marketing to children to prevent the alarming rise in diet-related diseases worldwide. Drawing on numerous international examples of food promotion by large food companies, and the accompanying growth in diet-related diseases, it gives a consumer perspective on the extensive marketing of energy-dense, low-nutrient foods around the world. It calls for internationally effective policies that protect children from developing dietary habits that may result in disease and premature death.
- Children's Nutrition Action Plan 2001
The Children's Nutrition Action Plan resulted from a roundtable seminar of children's health experts, convened in 2001 to review what policies would be needed to control the rising epidemics of diet-related disease prevalent in the UK and other wealthy countries. The report focuses on improving children's health and diets, as a key way of preventing unnecessary and debilitating diseases caused by consumption of unhealthy foods.
- TV Dinners: What’s being served up by the Advertisers
This report demonstrates how the advertising of unhealthy foods during children’s TV continues to conflict with official dietary recommendations. National and international perspectives are presented, health implications explored and industry arguments exposed. The recommendations aim to protect children from unfair advertising and promotional activities.
You may also be interested in the following
- Hands off our 5-a-day! Healthy eating claims for fatty and sugary foods are taking the biscuit
Over the past 10 years, Sustain has worked with the Food Commission and other concerned health organisations to defend the 5-a-day message from inappropriate use by the manufacturers and marketers of processed foods, to protect the health of the nation. However, a decade on, Sustain has started to witness a return of the 5-a-day message being used on junk foods, and on products that contain a derisory amount of fruit and vegetables. The report Hands off our 5-a-day! reports on misappropriation of the 5-a-day message, reacts to a Channel 4 Dispatches programme showing that a chocolate biscuit can count as half of one portion of your 5-a-day, according to the food industry, and makes recommendations for government to take back control of this precious health message.
- Providing good food in schools... How to do it with, or without, local authority help
This report provides information and recommendations to schools and local authorities about economically viable ways of providing good quality food. Though most relevant to London boroughs and schools, this report may also be helpful to local authorities and schools across England.
- Dishing out failing food standards - comparing Government Buying Standards to those of McDonald's
This report compares 'Government Buying Standards' (which apply to food served in government departments, parts of the military and state-funded prisons) to the environmental and ethical standards of food served at McDonald’s, the global fast food giant, and finds that Government food standards are worse than McDonald's.
- Bake Your Lawn: Grow it, mill it, bake it, eat it
The Real Bread Campaign is showing children around Britain how to Bake Your Lawn and follow the Real Bread trail from seed to sandwich on your own doorstep. This guide is for teachers and parents who want to help children have fun finding out that Real Bread starts in a field, not a factory. It includes tips and pointers to further information for allotmenteers, would-be good-lifers and everyone else who wants to make getting a sandwich a bit more inspiring than a trip to the chiller cabinet at a petrol station.
- How to set up a food co-op or buying group in a school
This simple "how to" factsheet advises schools on how to make fresh, local, ethically produced food more accessible to the local community, whilst supporting local farmers by providing them with a local, regular and reliable outlet. A school food co-op can also support other programmes such as Healthy Schools, Eco Schools and Food For Life.
- Changing Diets, Changing Minds - how food affects mental health and behaviour
The report pulls together the published evidence linking what we eat to how we feel – from foetal brain development to adolescent behaviour through to Alzheimer’s disease. This evidence suggests that changes to our food system (namely the rise of processed foods, food additives, industrialised farming, pesticides, animal fat, and also declining fish stocks) may be partly responsible for the rise in mental health and behavioural problems. Specific conditions discussed include: ADHD, depression, schizophrenia and dementia (particularly Alzheimer’s disease). The roles of specific nutrients are also examined, including essential fatty acids (omega-3, or fish oils, and omega-6), hydrogenated (or trans) fats and various micronutrients e.g., selenium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C.
- Grab 5! Action Pack
The Grab 5! Action Pack is intended to provide practical information advice and tips for schools wanting to encourage pupils to eat more fruit and veg.
- Grab 5! Curriculum Pack
The Grab 5! Curriculum Pack provides ideas for classroom activities related to food, nutrition and the Grab 5! message of eating more fruit and vegetables, that link directly with elements of the national curriculum.
- Grab 5! Model School Food Policy - A practical guide
The Grab 5! Model School Food Policy is a practical guide. It outlines the benefits of introducing a school food policy, and provides a specimen policy for adoption by the school governors, together with a comprehensive list of ideas for shaping and developing your school food policy.
- Evaluation of the Sustain Grab 5! school fruit and vegetable project
The full report of the independent evaluation of the Grab 5! pilot project, carried out by the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group, University of Oxford. It brings together experiences and understanding gained in the first year of the project's implementation, and pinpoints the key aspects of the project's success. The evaluators concluded that "Increases in fruit and vegetable consumption are a testament to the effectiveness of the Grab 5! approach."