Food & beverage marketing

Woman, holding, child, stands in supermarket aisle
© UNICEF/UN04234/Estey

Unhealthy food marketing has increasingly been identified as a contributory factor to growing rates of overweight and obesity in children. The ever-expanding exposure of children to unhealthy food marketing and its ubiquitous reach, combined with the adoption of new marketing channels and ever-evolving techniques, has powerful effects on children. The evidence which has accumulated over the years has clearly established that children's health is negatively influenced by unhealthy food marketing. As a result, the 66th WHA has unanimously adopted the WHO Recommendations, highlighting that the issue of unhealthy food marketing to children has become a priority for the international community. The WHA thus marked the development of a global consensus that unhealthy food marketing should be regulated to limit its negative impact on children.

In addition to concern for children's health, new marketing techniques and channels pose a threat to children's right to privacy, information, culture, education and to children's over-all wellbeing.

To address the impacts of food and beverage marketing on children, UNICEF seeks at both strengthening government regulation, as well as, strengthening corporate marketing policies and practices from a children's rights perspective. In both cases policy makers and businesses need to understand the types of corporate policy commitments and marketing practices would be sufficient to ensure respect and provide support for children's rights (Children's Rights and Business Principle 6).

As such UNICEF is convening stakeholders to address challenges to pivotal issues such as: children's rights in digital marketing and brand presence in schools.

For more information on the impact of F&B marketing on children's rights in marketing download: DLA Piper Marketing piece. [PDF]