2016 Food policy Tobacco control Other Health-related issues

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, par. 32, par. 33 and par. 34 (2016)

Text of the recommendation

32. The level and effect of investment by the food industry in the marketing of unhealthy food products is startling. Persistent advertising campaigns, discount offers, exclusive contracts with food outlets and pricing and packaging strategies are all used to drive demand.

33. “Junk food” companies tend to use tactics similar to those used by tobacco companies in the 1980s, when science began linking smoking to serious health

problems. Some companies even fund scientific research, manipulating results in support of their products, or add minimal amounts of healthy ingredients to enable them to present their products as “healthy”.

34. Marketing strategies are particularly harmful when they target untapped markets in developing nations, a spillover from the “saturation” of markets in developed countries. The effect of introducing fast food on the diet quality of poorer populations is especially dangerous when there is a lack of knowledge or education and where individuals are vulnerable to manipulative marketing practices. If left uncontrolled, undernutrition in lower-income countries will be rapidly eclipsed by obesity and non-communicable diseases, as is already the case in China, India and many middle-income countries.


Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Interim Report on the right to food, A/71/282, (2016). Par. 32, 33, 34. Available at: https://undocs.org/A/71/282