In 2010, the Sixty-third World Health Assembly unanimously endorsed the World Health Organization (WHO) Set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, and urged Member States to take the necessary measures to implement the set of recommendations. In response to Member State requests, WHO developed this guideline to strengthen and streamline support for Member States in developing and implementing new, or strengthening existing, policies to protect children from the harmful impact of food marketing.
This guideline builds on the 2010 WHO Set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, and takes into consideration more recent evidence specific to children and to the context of food marketing. The guideline’s objectives are to:
- provide evidence-based recommendations and implementation considerations for policies to protect all children from the harmful impact of food marketing;
- enable evidence-informed advocacy to advance policy action to restrict food marketing to which children are exposed;
- guide future research to further strengthen the evidence base for policy action; and
- contribute to the creation of healthy food environments that enable healthy dietary practices among children.
In this guideline, policies were defined as all measures to regulate marketing to which children are exposed, whether through legal instruments mandating compliance (such as legislation and regulations), government-led measures with which compliance is voluntary (such as codes of conduct and standards), or measures by which industry actors voluntarily undertake to restrict marketing (such as pledges and codes).
This guideline was developed using the procedures outlined in the WHO handbook for guideline development. These procedures include a review of systematically gathered evidence by an international, multidisciplinary group of experts (the Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Subgroup on Policy Actions); assessment of the certainty of that evidence via Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE); and consideration of additional decision criteria potentially relevant for the translation of the identified evidence into recommendations.