Parents do not realise that their children are being “stalked in cyberspace” by junk food manufacturers, according to a report published today (January 21) by the British Heart Foundation.
The BHF claims that its Food4Thought Survey has found that two thirds of parents are not aware that food manufacturers use internet games to target chilldren.
The BHF/Children’s Food Campaign Protecting Children report calls for a “revolutionary regulation system” that imposes what it describes as the “world’s strictest safeguards” on marketing food and drink to children. It claims the current voluntary self-regulation of non-broadcster marketing has failed.
The regulations will cover all forms of marketing, including drink packaging and online activity.
The BHF and Children’s Food Campaign support the bill introduced by MP Nigel Griffiths that would implement the report’s conclusions. The pair expect the bill to receive widespread support from British parents.
Betty McCride, director of policy and communications at BHF, says: “Junk food manufacturers are laying a multi-million pound honey trap for children. They are luring kids in their online playgrounds or stalking them on food packaging at the breakfast table.”