Home Children and Young People Parents call for end to children’s characters on unhealthy foods

Parents call for end to children’s characters on unhealthy foods

by Jonathan Kearney

The majority of parents want to see children’s characters removed from unhealthy foods, according to a report.

‘Pester Power or Parent Power?’, a new report from the Children’s Food Campaign and Food Active, has revealed that parents and carers want to see an end to the use of popular children’s characters and brand mascots on food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar.

The campaigners want the Government and food companies to introduce policies to restrict use of child-friendly characters to healthier products only.

Results from 942 UK parents, who shared their views in an online survey in Winter 2019, found that:
• 9 in 10 (91%) parents say that the use of child-friendly characters on food and drink leads to their children requesting or pestering for those products
• More than 8 in 10 (84%) parents said characters should be removed from unhealthy sweets, confectionery and snack products
• Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) agreed that the use of children’s characters makes it more difficult to feed their children a healthy diet.

While some supermarkets have started to remove child-friendly characters from high sugar cereals, parents surveyed revealed this marketing tactic is an issue across a wide range of unhealthy products, such as flavoured yogurts.

Alex Holt from Active Food said: “We hope the Government takes note of this important collection of voices from parents across the UK, clearly stating that the use of cartoon characters on unhealthy food is a problem for them. Parents are acutely aware of the impact that these marketing tactics are having on their children’s food preferences and brand awareness, and the difficulties they present especially in light of the difficulties some already face in feeding their child well.”