Feb 15, 2020 - Health

Unilever pledges to stop advertising food and drinks to kids

In this image, a toddler eats an ice cream cone
A boy eats ice cream during the Children's Day celebration in Bangkok, Thailand in January. Photo: Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Multinational corporate giant Unilever pledged this week that it will stop advertising food and drinks to children under 12 through traditional media, and kids younger than 13 on social media by the end of the year.

What they're saying: Citing the World Health Organization's alarm bell on childhood obesity, Unilever says that ice cream brand Wall's will not exceed 110 calories or contain more than 12g of sugar per portion.

Between the lines: For Unilever to cut kids' sugar intake to 12g per ice cream serving size, artificial sweeteners may be added, the director of marketing initiatives for the nonprofit Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity told the Washington Post.

“Their bottom line is profit, not public health. Without policies that put some rules around marketing to children across all companies, it’s hard to believe one company is going to sacrifice its profits to effectively reduce consumption of unhealthy foods. Policies would be good in that sense because they level the playing field.”
— Fran Fleming-Milici told the Post in an interview

Go deeper: Study: 49% of American adults projected to be obese by 2030

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