‘Nothing to protect kids’ from alarming amount of unhealthy food ads on Facebook – nutrition expert

A new study by Auckland University has found that two thirds of Facebook posts from food and beverage companies feature unhealthy food items. 

Auckland University’s Prof Boyd Swinburn discusses a study of food and beverage ads on Facebook. Source: Breakfast

After reviewing food and beverage ads on Youtube and Facebook over two months the study uncovered that three quarters of YouTube ads and two thirds of Facebook ads had unhealthy food in its content. 

But according to Auckland University's Professor of population nutrition and global health, Boyd Swinburn, this is only the tip of the iceberg as the study doesn't include personalised advertising posts. 

"The Cambridge Analytica story really has shown how incredibly manipulative social media can be, there is no real protection for young children and adolescents," Prof Swinburn told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

The study also revealed that public ads reach ten per cent of teenagers. 

Whilst advertising has it's own self regulated code at present, there is no stopping the government creating regulation for advertising standards, specifically how junk food is marketed to kids.