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Front-of-pack marketing on infant and toddler foods: Targeting children and their caregivers
journal contributionposted on 2023-12-11, 00:56 authored by Alexandra Chung, Judith Myers, Helen Skouteris, Kathryn BackholerKathryn Backholer
OBJECTIVE: To identify and quantify child- and caregiver-appeal on front-of-pack marketing on infant and toddler foods in the Australian food supply. METHODS: Content analysis of the presence and type of front-of-pack marketing techniques displayed on the front-of-pack of infant and toddler foods (for children aged up to 36 months) available in Australia's two major supermarkets' online stores. RESULTS: Infant and toddler foods are promoted by up to 15 unique marketing techniques on the front-of-pack with an average of eight unique features per pack. A majority of food packages included marketing techniques targeting children, and all food packages included marketing techniques targeting caregivers, most commonly promoting health and nutrition. CONCLUSIONS: Infant and toddler food packages are saturated with front-of-pack marketing features that target children and caregivers. To adequately protect young children's diets from the harmful influence of food marketing, and to promote the development of optimal feeding behaviours, government-led controls of all marketing intended to influence children's diets are required. In the context of marketing infant and toddler foods, this includes regulation of front-of-pack marketing techniques targeted to children and their caregivers. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Comprehensive government-led food marketing controls are required to protect children's diets from the harmful influence of marketing. The scope of these controls must include all unhealthy food marketing that children are exposed to and all other forms of unhealthy food marketing intended to influence children's diets.