Eastern Europe, Central Asia: WHO Urges to Limit Digital Marketing of Unhealthy Products
In a press conference, WHO urged countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to limit digital marketing of unhealthy products to children.
The Russian version of the report “Monitoring and restricting the digital marketing of unhealthy products to children and adolescents” was launched on May 27, 2019.
The Moscow-based WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Office) sought to equip the Russian-speaking countries of eastern Europe and central Asia with practical tools to better monitor the digital marketing of alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food products, especially those high in salt, sugar and fat.
Children and adolescents are a continuous target of the advertising industry. The industry persistently promotes unhealthy products on social media and on difficult-to-track mobile devices.
The advertising industry makes youth change their consumption patterns and heavily promotes unhealthy foods,” said Dr João Breda, Head of the NCD Office as per WHO Europe.
Between 70% and 80% of food advertisements are for unhealthy products. Monitoring the online advertising of unhealthy foods to children is critical, as the onset of NCDs that are linked to smoking, alcohol abuse and the intake of unhealthy foods can be prevented if major risk factors and behaviours are addressed.”
WHO creates the CLICK tool
To equip governments with a practical tool to monitor digital marketing, WHO developed a flexible monitoring framework that can be adapted to national settings. CLICK stands for the following:
- Comprehend the digital ecosystem
- Landscape campaigns
- Investigate exposure
- Capture on-screen
- Knowledge sharing
WHO believes that the CLICK tool could help sensitize national governments to the harm of digital marketing of unhealthy foods and catalyse action to protect children from advertisements for unhealthy foods and for tobacco and alcohol.