Jennifer Parker 0

The Junk-Food Exchange is asking retailers to swap junk-foods at the tills for healthier options!

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The Junk Food Exchange envisions a world where food is not the cause of suffering, death and disease, but something to fuel our bodies towards greatness. We are working to inspire the cooperation of all stakeholders in our community to work together – helping to create bright, healthy futures for our children.

Sadly, today approximately one third of children in America are overweight or obese, and research shows that children are eating too much saturated fat and sugar. Obesity at a young age has shown to pose a greater risk of children being obese as adults, which in turn increases the risk of developing a number of chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and some kinds of cancer. An unhealthy diet high in sugar also increases the risk of developing tooth decay. Children are also eating too much salt which increases the risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and stroke later in life.

Food and beverage manufacturers intentionally set out to build long term relationships between young consumers and their brands in order to increase and extend demand, and research shows that food promotions can influence children’s behaviour in a number of ways including their preferences, purchase behaviour and consumption.(1)

Children as young as 18 months can recognize brands and children as young as three have been shown to prefer branded, over identical unbranded food.(2)Marketing therefore plays a substantial role in swaying children’s dietary choices. Sadly, the marketing of food and drinks to children is weighted heavily towards unhealthy foods,(3) with very few advertisements promoting healthy options.(4)

In today’s food environment, junk food is everywhere and its promotion is virtually unavoidable for shoppers in grocery stores, convenience stores and even retail outlets like Home Depot and Office Depot where junk food would not be expected to a temptation. Sugar laden chocolate bars and sweets are on display right until the very end of a shoppers’ experience in all of these outlets where their placement and marketing at the checkout points help influence buyers towards less healthy behaviour. This targeted positioning of chips, chocolate bars and other sweets exploits human psychology and basic biology, making shoppers vulnerable to consuming additional calories, added sugars, saturated fat, and other dietary constituents that put their health at risk. This also greatly undermines parents’ efforts to help their children eat a healthy diet and get the best start in life.

In-store promotion of junk food is virtually impossible to avoid. It annoys and angers parents, and undermines their efforts to give their children a healthy diet. At a national level, it undermines the Government’s own health campaigns.

But all hope is not lost. There are already examples of healthy checkout projects from communities all over the United States as well as in the United Kingdom, where The Children’s Food Campaign has been widely successful in influencing big chain supermarkets like Lidl, Tesco and Aldi to make changes. These chains have rid their checkouts of junk food and instead have provided an array of healthier foods and non-food items.

  • We therefore urge supermarkets and other retailers here in Florida (and eventually in the rest of America) to adopt food and nutrition standards for checkouts and to remove unhealthy food and drink products from all their checkouts and line-up areas, replacing them with healthy alternatives and/ or non-food products.
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Advertising Practices should extend its remit to include in-store positioning of products and all point-of-sale marketing aimed at selling junk food to children.
  • Placement fees, to induce retailers to place unhealthy foods and beverages at checkout points should be boycotted and banned.

We Cannot Do This Alone! Please sign this petition to show supermarkets like Publix, Winn-Dixie, Green-Wise and other retailers like Home Depot, Office Depot and others that we want to put a stop to the health harming impulse buying and children targeted strategies the food industry are cashing in on.

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