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Report: Point-of-sale marketing to children

The Heart and Stroke Foundation has released a report on the negative impact on children’s health caused by point-of-sale marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. The research was conducted by the University of Waterloo and incorporates data from approximately 2,000 restaurants and 800 stores that sell food. It examines the tactics used by food and beverage companies to market their products to children. The use of child themes and designs was the most common technique, followed by the use of branded characters, according to the report. Half of the ads outside of stores and 41% outside restaurants used at least one child-directed marketing technique. The research also found an average of nine of these displays inside stores.

“Food marketers do not have kid's health at heart,” said Doug Roth, CEO of the foundation. “Given the high proportion of child-directed marketing observed in both stores and restaurants in this Canadian research, it's clear that policies aimed to restrict marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to kids, something long promised by the federal government, should include point-of-sale locations.”

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