Irish Heart released a report in 2016 'Who's feeding the kids online?' highlighting how junk food companies are using sneaky underhanded tactics to get to children through digital media.
In Canada, junk food marketing is largely self-regulated by the food industry who, like in Australia, decide their own rules. And, like Australia, that self-regulation doesn't work.
Research found food marketing on TV increased since the introduction of the voluntary regulations. The use of spokes-characters such as Tony the Tiger and popular licensed characters like Dora the Explorer to help sell food products also increased.
Interestingly, Quebec introduced legislation over 30 years ago to protect children from targeted food and drink advertising and has one of the highest fruit and vegetable intake rates and lowest childhood obesity rates in Canada.
The Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition was formed in 2014 and comprises 12 non-government organisations that are calling for restrictions on all food and drink marketing to Canadian children aged 16 and younger. Their vision is to have an environment that enables children and parents to make nutritious food choices free from the influence of junk food marketing to children. Read more about their campaign here.