Systematic reviews of the evidence on the nature, extent and effects of food marketing to children. A retrospective summary

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Cairns, G. ; Angus, K. ; Hastings, G. ; Caraher, M. (2013)

A 2009 systematic review of the international evidence on food and beverage marketing to children is the most recent internationally comprehensive review of the evidence base. Its findings are consistent with other independent, rigorous reviews conducted during the period 2003-2012. Food promotions have a direct effect on children's nutrition knowledge, preferences, purchase behaviour, consumption patterns and diet-related health. Current marketing practice predominantly promotes low nutrition foods and beverages. Rebalancing the food marketing landscape' is a recurring policy aim of interventions aimed at constraining food and beverage promotions to children. The collective review evidence on marketing practice indicates little progress towards policy aims has been achieved during the period 2003-2012. There is a gap in the evidence base on how substantive policy implementation can be achieved. We recommend a priority for future policy relevant research is a greater emphasis on translational research. A global framework for co-ordinated intervention to constrain unhealthy food marketing which has received high level support provides valuable insight on some aspects of immediate implementation research priorities.
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