Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Cartoon animations on packaging market unhealthy products to children

5 June 2019

In a comprehensive review of 526 UK food and drink products featuring child friendly cartoon animation and characters in their packaging, Action on Salt and Action on Sugar at the Wolfson Institute have found that 51% of the products were unnecessarily high in fat, saturated fats, sugar and/or salt, and that 50% would fail the Committee for Advertising Practices criteria to be allowed to advertise during children’s programming.

Research has shown that children as young as three show a preference for branded foods over identical unbranded products. Action on Salt, Action on Sugar, and a number of other organisations will now be calling for a complete ban of cartoon animations on packaging of unhealthy products to children, and to mandate ‘traffic light’ labelling.