Posts tagged snacks
The study, published in BioMed Central Public Health, examined the nutritional value and marketing tactics of all child-oriented snacks in 55 stores immediately surrounding four public schools. Researchers identified 826 child-oriented snack foods, at least one in each of the 55 stores. They further analyzed 106 of the snacks.
The most common method of marketing to children was placing characters to promote snacks (92.5% of the products), including brand-specific characters, cartoon characters, and creatures/animals. Most character branding was prominently displayed on the front of products, and covered a quarter of the package’s surface.
“Promotional characters have been found to influence children’s food choices as they are more likely to choose a snack with a character on the packaging compared to one without a character,” the researchers said.
Most of the snacks (97.1%) were classified as “less-healthy.”
Researchers also found that the motivation to purchase snack foods in Guatemala may not be related to price, because: savory snack foods were more expensive than regular grocery items like bread; companies are still offering toys as giveaways in their product sales; and 20% of the snacks in the study didn’t have legally required nutritional labeling.
More restrictions on marketing less-healthy snacks is needed, the researchers concluded.
“Due to the effects on food preferences and overall nutritional quality, restricting the use of child-oriented licensed and brand-specific characters on the packaging of snack foods is needed to discourage consumption of less-healthy snacks,” according to the study.
Read the full study report here.
About 80% of American voters favor national standards that would limit calories, fat and sodium in snack and à la carte foods sold in U.S. schools and encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items, according to a new poll.
The poll was commissioned by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project, a joint project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Check out this brief video that explains the impact these foods and beverages can have on kids’ health and how policymakers are trying to make sure schools provide kids with healthy foods and drinks.