Saffron Barker, 20, starred in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, paired with professional A J Pritchard. Almost 2.5 million people subscribe to her YouTube channel. She lives with her parents and three brothers in Brighton.
I was born deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. It was very isolating.
When I was younger, I had 13 operations on my ears. Being in hospital by myself was scary, but I have fond memories of how kind the nurses were to me. The NHS was amazing. But the experience meant I lacked self-confidence.
Saffron Barker, 20, (pictured) who lives in Brighton, revealed how she overcame bullies in her school to become a YouTube star
When, at 15, I decided to create my own YouTube channel, I was nervous. There were bullies at my school and I was worried I’d be teased. ‘Who does that Saffron think she is?’ That kind of thing. Then I went on holiday with my family to Florida and, with their support, I took my courage in both hands. I started filming my life every single day and I tried to put to the back of my mind the fact that everyone would have an opinion about it.
You’ve got to make your own luck in life, haven’t you?
To begin with, I didn’t have many followers online, but I stuck at it. The harder I worked, the bigger I got and the less people criticised me.
By the time I left school, I had 100,000 subscribers on YouTube.
But I did start attracting trolls (online bullies), too, and they were very negative. There’s no regulation of it, so it was something I just had to deal with.
I’m older now and I’ve got used to it. In time, I realised that what I’ve achieved far outweighs any online negativity I might attract. My followers are now a really positive community.
I wasn’t academic at school, but I was passionate about my videos. I never dreamed, though, that it would turn into my job.
My mantra became: Believe in yourself. Which I kept repeating when I did Strictly last year.
Now, the sky’s the limit. I’m living proof that, if you follow your dream and go with your heart, you can achieve anything you set out to do.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Extinction Rebellion extends an olive branch to Sir David Attenborough
Extinction Rebellion has extended an olive branch to Sir David Attenborough by delivering him a ‘starter pack on how to engage in civil disobedience’.
Eco-warriors delivered a letter and gifts including an olive tree to the naturalist’s home in Richmond, London, yesterday after he warned them not to break the law.
They said the 94-year-old’s influence and comments ‘are contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world’.
It comes after Sir David said XR had to be ‘careful that you don’t break the law’ during their protests which have taken over central London in the past.
He said ‘disturbing their lives… is a serious thing to do and could disenchant an awful lot of people’.
He added: ‘Of course I agree with their message, it’s a question of what is politic and sensible in persuading other people to join you?’
Eco-warriors delivered a letter and ‘gifts’ including an olive tree to the naturalist’s home in Richmond yesterday after he warned protesters not to break the law
They said the 94-year-old’s influence and comments ‘are contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world’
A small group of activists delivered the letter to Sir David in response to his comments on BBC Breakfast last month.
The letter says: ‘Nonviolent civil disobedience has a long history of bringing about swift, transformational change.
‘Breaking the law was integral to the achievements of the Suffragettes, Gandhi’s Salt Marchers, the Civil Rights movement and the Polish and East German democracy movement, to name only a few.
‘All who stood were scorned by society during their time, the majority of them mischaracterized as extremists and aggressors (and worse!).
‘But stand they did, and the world is better for their sacrifice. We owe our freedoms to the courage of those who broke the law and risked their lives and freedoms before us.
‘You yourself have said ”We cannot be radical enough when dealing with climate change”.
‘But your recent comments to the BBC, where you said ”you have to be careful that you don’t break the law” and that Extinction Rebellion should question whether their actions are ”political and sensible’,’ suggest you believe otherwise.
Sir David became the fastest person to have one million followers on Instagram, beating record holder actress Jennifer Aniston, after he joined the platform to reach a young audience
‘We urge you now to rethink this position and recognise the role nonviolent civil disobedience plays when communicating to your global audience.’
The letter adds: ‘With your unique position and influence, we fear your comments are contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world.’
Extinction Rebellion said they sent him an NVDA ‘Starter Pack’, which ‘contains everything a person needs to understand how to engage in civil disobedience’.
They also dropped off an olive tree, which they say represents peace, which had pictures of environmentalists they claim were killed by governments globally.
In his BBC interview last month, Sir David said he had been warning about the environment for decades.
He said ‘yet suddenly, in the last five years maybe, it’s as though people have woken up, it’s young people… and not before time’.
The ‘first time I had absolutely indubitable proof (of what is happening to the natural world) was back in the 60s,’ he said.
‘I swam in a coral reef in Australia and saw a damaged reef. It was a terrible sight… like a cemetery.’
A boat is placed in the centre of the traffic junction as Environmental campaigners block Oxford Circus during a coordinated protest by the Extinction Rebellion group on April 15, 2019
Asked how he manages not to feel despondent, he said: ‘I don’t despair because what will you go and do? Just go and hide in the corner?
‘Crying in the corner and forgetting it all and giving up? And If there’s only a fragment of hope we have a responsibility to do something about it.’
Asked about the scepticism from governments in the US and Brazil, he said: ‘We have to do what’s in our power.
‘We can’t take that as an excuse for doing nothing…
‘China is taking very big steps in many directions.. China is moving in the right direction…
‘The present administration in America, is, from a conservationist point-of-view, disastrous but… that’s who’s been elected and we have to go through it.’
He added: ‘Every breath of air we take, every mouthful of food we eat, comes from the natural world ultimately, and if we damage it we damage ourselves.’
‘If there is one thing everyone can do, it is don’t waste anything, don’t waste electricity, don’t waste food, don’t waste power’, he says.
‘Just treat the natural world as though it’s precious, which it is, and don’t squander those bits of it that we have control of.’
Sir David became the fastest person to have one million followers on Instagram after he joined the platform to reach a young audience.
His agent has been approached for comment.
Extinction Rebellion’s letter to Sir David Attenborough in full:
Dear Sir David,
We hope you are faring well during these turbulent times. There’s no need to stray far from our front doors these days to know that our world is unravelling in front of us.
But sometimes our doorsteps can bring words of friendship also. So, here we are.
We are a group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists and we bring you this letter to ask for your help.
For decades we have enjoyed your films and TV programmes. We share your deep concern for the living planet and the need you have expressed for immediate and decisive action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. Many of us in XR have spoken recently about the similarities in your use of language in your films ‘A Life On Our Planet’ and ‘Extinction: The Facts’ with our own ‘Extinction Talk’, on which Extinction Rebellion was founded.
I’m sure you would agree that now, more than ever, we need new ideas, new courage, new ways of thinking about how to create the change we so desperately need.
Nonviolent civil disobedience has a long history of bringing about swift, transformational change. Breaking the law was integral to the achievements of the Suffragettes, Gandhi’s Salt Marchers, the Civil Rights movement and the Polish and East German democracy movement, to name only a few.
All who stood were scorned by society during their time, the majority of them mischaracterized as extremists and aggressors (and worse!). But stand they did, and the world is better for their sacrifice. We owe our freedoms to the courage of those who broke the law and risked their lives and freedoms before us.
You yourself have said ‘We cannot be radical enough when dealing with climate change’. But your recent comments to the BBC, where you said ‘you have to be careful that you don’t break the law’ and that Extinction Rebellion should question whether their actions are ‘political and sensible,’ suggest you believe otherwise.
We urge you now to rethink this position and recognise the role nonviolent civil disobedience plays when communicating to your global audience.
With your unique position and influence, we fear your comments are contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world. The UN’s Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples estimates that Indigenous peoples are protecting 80% of the world’s biodiversity. They know they have no choice but to break the law and take action to protect their communities, habitats and the biodiversity that sustains all life. They face violence, arrest, imprisonment, physical mutilation and murder on a daily basis. Much of this violence is sanctioned by governments who are at the heel of corporate power. Global Witness reports that 2019 was the deadliest year on record for environmental defenders. At least 212 were killed protecting land and water from mining, agribusiness and fossil fuel interests. That is over four environmentalists murdered every week.
For our part, Extinction Rebellion and the School Strikers created the space in 2019 for the climate and ecological emergency to reach the height of global awareness. Extinction Rebellion were voted the no.1 worldwide educator/influencer on climate change at COP25. Following our April Rebellion in 2019, the UK Parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency.
This was achieved because many thousands of ordinary people risked arrest for this cause.
We are not hooligans or extremists here out of a joy for breaking the law. We are mothers afraid for our children’s future. We are doctors and nurses who recognise the interconnected health and climate crises. We are young people sick and tired of being sold false promises. We are teachers, bus drivers, office workers, Rabbis, priests, writers, artists, emergency workers, scientists and more. Many of us are life long campaigners who have remained within the law for decades, going on marches and signing petitions, and we have watched in dismay as the crisis has only grown worse.
Those engaged in the fight for a liveable planet – whether those just doing their part, the TV personalities, or the activists committed to nonviolent direct action (NVDA) – are a part of an ecology of change, and the relationship between us makes up one symbiosis. Not one single element of these will succeed independently, but together we can create one united revolutionary moment. Nor will simply urging people to make incremental changes to their daily lives be enough now (although, of course we encourage them when possible!). It is crucial that governments are held to account for continuing their ecocidal activity and propping up destructive industries that are killing us.
We are so grateful for the part you are playing in the struggle to protect life on Earth, and ask you to work with us, not against us, and recognise that we all have a role to play in the times to come.
We are hand-delivering this letter to you in the hope of reaching you directly. We have brought the gift of an NVDA ‘Starter Pack’ that contains everything a person needs to understand how to engage in civil disobedience with XR. We hope you find value in this.
You will also find with it an olive tree representing peace, adorned with photos of environmentalists who have been killed by governments around the world for protecting precious habitats.
We would love to speak with you further about the above and begin a vital conversation about how we can achieve change during these dark times, when all ideas promoting peace and justice must be on the table.
Last week it was revealed XR protests cost taxpayers £15 million in policing costs in a year with disruptive stunts including stripping off naked at the House of Commons.
The Home Office handed the Met millions of pounds of extra funding in the 2019/20 financial year to fund the soaring costs of dealing with the climate extremists.
On March 9 last year around 400 protesters held a ‘Blood of Our Children’ demonstration outside Downing Street.
Members poured buckets of fake blood on the road to represent the threatened lives of children.
The next month around 12 protesters were arrested after undressing and gluing themselves to the glass in the House of Commons viewing gallery during a debate.
The tactic used by some activists sees them go limp when they are being arrested and will often mean four or five people are required to carry them away.
Police officers remove an Extinction Rebellion protester from Victoria Street, London, on Thursday September 3
How DID climate anarchists cost the taxpayer £15 million in a year?
Around 12 protesters were arrested after undressing and gluing themselves to the glass in the House of Commons viewing gallery during a debate on Brexit.
Thousands gathered in Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and the area around Parliament Square.
Five activists, including XR co-founder Simon Bramwell, were arrested for criminal damage when they targeted Shell’s headquarters, near Waterloo.
On the second day of actions on Waterloo Bridge police started arresting people at 12.40 pm, but stopped a few hours later when the force ran out of holding cells.
By the end of the day an estimated 500,000 people had been affected by the disruptions and 290 activists had been arrested in London.
Two activists climbed onto the roof of a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf station whilst another glued himself to the side, spreading disruption to railway services.
A large force of police marched on the camp at Parliament Square, arresting people and partially removing roadblocks before it was retaken later the same night by protesters.
Some 428 people had been arrested at this point.
A dozen teenagers, some aged 13 and 14, walked to the Healthrow access road holding a banner which read ‘Are we the last generation?’ They were surrounded by police.
By late that evening 682 people had so far been arrested in London during the course of the demonstrations.
London Stock Exchange is blockaded by protestors who glued themselved to the entrance while wearing LED signs.
Four protesters climbed on to a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf.
Activists gathered at Hyde Park to mark an end to the 11-day protest.
JULY 13 – 14
A weekend of protest in east London included a mass bike ride, traffic blockades and talks at London Fields.
London Fashion Week was targetted with Victoria Beckham’s show interupted by a swarm of demonstrators.
200 people gathered for a ‘funeral march’ from a H&M in Trafalgar Square to a fashion week venue in The Strand.
Tried to blockade the Port of Dover by marching on the A20.
Fire engine was used to spray fake blood around HM Treasury in central London.
Opening ceremony held at Marble Arch was attended by a thousand protesters.
Thousands of people blocked central London with various demonstrations.
Half a dozen activists dressed in yellow-and-black bee outfits held an action during the Liberal Democrats election campaign in Streatham, south London.
Activists blockaded a central London road to demand the next government tackles air pollution in London.
Extinction Rebellion members of the University of Cambridge assembled to dig up a patch of lawn outside of Trinity College.
The senior officer’s comments come just weeks after the group took to the streets of central London after declaring a ten-day protest.
Sir Steve told the committee: ‘We have asked them to stop being floppy. It might seem like a silly thing to say, but when we arrest them and pick them up they go all floppy, which is why you see four or five officers carrying them away.
‘It’s a complete waste of officers’ time, and a complete pain in the neck. If they could just behave like sensible adults – you’ve made your point, you wanted to be arrested, you’ve been arrested, get up and walk away with one officer and stop wasting police time.
‘This is a real issue, and they will not do it, and it is a flipping nuisance.’
The police officer added: ‘The problem with them going floppy and four officers carrying them away is that it looks to the general public like the police are overreacting here.
‘We’re not making them go floppy – they’re just being a nuisance.’
Earlier this month, Extinction Rebellion activists held ten days of protest in central London, with the latest figures from the Met showing that 680 people had been arrested.
These were for alleged offences including obstructing the highway, criminal damage and breaching the legal conditions set on the demonstration.
This month activists were also blasted by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson for ‘attacking free speech’ after they chained themselves to the gates of Newsprinters in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.
Protestors also blocked access to the presses in Knowsley, Liverpool, on the same evening.
A total of 20 activists have each been fined £10,000 for their involvement in the protest, the Met Police said.
Following the scenes, the Prime Minister said: ‘A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.
‘It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.’
In a speech delivered to the Police Superintendents Association after the protest, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was committed to helping police deal with ‘so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals.’
She said: ‘Attempting to thwart the media’s right to publish without fear nor favour.
‘And a shameful attack on our way of life, our economy and the livelihoods of the hard-working majority. I refuse point-blank to allow that kind of anarchy on our streets.’
She blasted those who took part in the demonstration for being a ‘selfish minority’.
‘The very criminals who disrupt our free society must be stopped,’ she added. ‘Together we must all stand firm against the guerrilla tactics of Extinction Rebellion.
‘That means adapting to the threat they pose and ensuring justice is served. Now in policing, you have a whole range of powers at your disposal, and of course they should be used.’
Labour leader Keir Starmer also hit out at XR’s ‘counterproductive’ protests to stop the printing press.
He warned the environmental group’s newspaper blockade had cost it public sympathy.
The stunt happened on September 4, and left some newsagents’ shelves empty the following morning. It sparked outrage across parties.
Extinction Rebellion describes itself as ‘a politically non-partisan international movement that uses non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.’
A note on its website revealed the group try to communicate with police ‘except for the case where a small group is trying to do a specific action that needs the element of surprise’.
They said: ‘We have made some decisions about security and our interactions with the police.
‘We have made a strategic decision to communicate with the police about what we are doing when we believe that is more likely to enable things to go well (which we can’t always be sure of).
‘Except for the case where a small group is trying to do a specific action that needs the element of surprise, we generally don’t try to be secure in our communications about plans.
‘We expect that we have been infiltrated by those without our best interests at heart and suggest people bear this in mind.’
What is Extinction Rebellion and what do they want?
‘Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and the risk of social collapse,’ according to its website’s ‘about’ page.
The environmentalist protest group held its first demonstration in Parliament Square on October 31, 2018.
The worldwide group want to change the structure of power to take authority away from central governments.
Its website reads: ‘We understand that we must self-organise to meet our own needs, which in the context of Extinction Rebellion means that we are working to equalise power by disrupting the usual pillars of power that govern our lives.’
The environmentalist protest group held its first demonstration in Parliament Square on October 31, 2018
Since 2018 members of the group have gathered at London Fashion Week, the House of Commons and various other locations around central London.
On the morning of Wednesday, April 17, 2019, two activists climbed onto the roof of a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf station whilst another glued himself to the side, spreading disruption to railway services.
The following day the three activists were charged with obstructing trains. After pleading not guilty they were sent to jail for four weeks, with no bail, whilst awaiting their next hearing.
On February 17 2020, Extinction Rebellion members of the University of Cambridge dug up a patch of lawn outside Trinity College, as a protest against its investment in oil and gas companies. The mud dug up was later taken to a local branch of Halifax.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Liam Dent was dragged for half a mile under a car after row outside Surrey pub, court hears
A father-of-two was killed after he was dragged screaming for half a mile under a car after a row outside a pub, a court heard today.
Liam Dent, 25, was trapped beneath the wheels of a Ford S-Max allegedly driven by 20-year-old Martin Eastwood in Chessington, Surrey, on July 26 last year.
Dent was said to be ‘screaming’ as he was dragged under the car before his body was dislodged by another car, driven by Eastwood’s friend, the Old Bailey heard.
Prosecutors say the Ford was later found burnt out near to the scene.
The court heard that Eastwood and 21-year-old Daniel Morris, both of whom are charged with Mr Dent’s murder, had earlier become involved in an argument with him outside The Lucky Rover pub in Chessington.
Liam Dent (pictured), 25, was trapped beneath the wheels of a Ford S-Max allegedly driven by 20-year-old Martin Eastwood in Chessington, Surrey, on July 26 last year
The court heard the incident followed a row between Dent, Eastwood and his friend Daniel Morris outside The Lucky Rover in Chessington
Dent was said to be ‘screaming’ as he was dragged for half-a-mile under the car, before his body dislodged by another car, driven by a friend, the Old Bailey heard. Pictured: Police forensic teams at the scene of the incident
Prosecutors say the Ford S Max allegedly used in the incident was then found burnt out near to the scene
The pair left briefly but returned in two cars, it was said. Eastwood was driving the Ford while Morris was in a BMW, the court heard.
Judge Anthony Leonard said: ‘The cars stopped and there was a verbal exchange and one of the two cars moved forward.
‘The person who went under the car was Mr Dent. There is evidence to suggest that the drivers of both cars were aware they were dragging a body. One of the cars was used to dislodge the body.’
Michelle Nelson, QC, prosecuting, said: ‘Liam Dent went underneath the car and was dragged half a mile under the car. Liam Dent was alive, he was screaming and the two cars stopped.
‘The three occupants got out of the car and began to look at the base of the Ford S-Max before getting back in and driving off. Liam Dent’s body was dislodged and left in the road.’
Police officers later found the Ford burnt out near to the scene. Eastwood and Morris, both of no fixed address, are both charged with murder.
Police forensic teams on Moor Lane in Chessington following the incident on July 26, 2019
Eastwood and Morris, both of no fixed address, are both charged with murder and are next due at the Old Bailey in London in January next year
A third defendant Jasmine Robinson, 18, of Epsom, Surrey, is accused of assisting an offender.
She allegedly bought a train ticket under a false name for Eastwood to take him to his old hometown of Sheffield.
Robinson was granted bail while Eastwood and Morris were remanded in custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing at the Old Bailey on 15 January 2021.
Mr Dent was setting up a mobile Caribbean street food business called Pull Up, Fill Up at the time of his death.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
YouTube ‘kidfluencers’ are being paid millions to promote junk food, study shows
Kids with popular YouTube channels, known as ‘kid influencers’ or ‘kidfluencers’, are being paid to promote junk food and sugary drinks in their videos, a study reveals.
US researchers analysed the five most-watched YouTube kidfluencers, their most popular videos and the presence of branded food in the videos.
Kidfluencer videos featuring food and drinks were viewed 1 billion times – and the overwhelming majority of these (90 per cent) featured junk food from unhealthy brands, such as McDonald’s.
‘Kidfluencers’ are often filmed by their parents conducting science experiments, reviewing toys, celebrating birthdays or trying food and get paid whopping amounts by advertisers.
The highest-paid YouTube kidfluencer of the past two years is Ryan Kaji – a nine-year-old from Texas who appears in his own YouTube series, called Ryan’s World.
Ryan Kaji (pictured) is a nine-year-old from Texas who appears in his own YouTube channel, Ryan’s World. He’s the highest-paid YouTube influencer of the past two years, earning $26 million last year
The series, which features basic science experiments, challenges, arts and crafts and unboxing toys, earned $26 million (£20 million) last year, researchers say.
But fast food companies are increasingly interested in inserting their products into these videos, which are hugely popular with children.
It’s thought that watching unhealthy food advertising increases the calories children eat by triggering cravings and subconsciously directing them to the larder.
WHAT IS THE UK’S BAN ON JUNK FOOD ADS?
The government will be banning junk food ads on TV between 5:30am and 9pm every day.
The measure, which has not yet come into force, was announced in July.
The government also launched a consultation over a total ban on junk food advertising online.
The measures will help cut child obesity and overweight figures.
Children carrying extra weight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer or have a stroke in adulthood.
Junk food adverts during children’s TV programmes have been banned since 2007.
In the UK, the government is cracking down on junk food ads on TV by implementing a 9pm watershed.
But companies have dramatically increased online advertising in response to consumers’ growing social media use.
Authorities will need to do more to limit children’s exposure to junk food ads online, the experts claim.
‘Kids already see several thousand food commercials on television every year, and adding these YouTube videos on top of it may make it even more difficult for parents and children to maintain a healthy diet,’ said Marie Bragg at New York University School of Global Public Health.
‘The allure of YouTube may be especially strong in 2020 as many parents are working remotely and have to juggle the challenging task of having young kids at home because of Covid-19.
‘We need a digital media environment that supports healthy eating instead of discouraging it.’
YouTube, which is the second most visited website in the world after Google, is a popular destination for kids seeking entertainment.
More than 80 percent of parents with a child younger than 12 years old allow their child to watch YouTube and 35 percent of parents said that their kid watches YouTube regularly, the experts report.
Food and beverage companies also spend $1.8 billion (£1.4 billion) a year marketing their products to young people globally.
Kidfluencer videos have caught the attention of some of these companies, who advertise or sponsor posts to promote their products during videos.
Kid influencers’ YouTube videos were collectively viewed more than 48 billion times, and videos featuring food and/or drinks were viewed 1 billion times. Most were unhealthy branded items, such as those from McDonald’s
‘Parents may not realise that kid influencers are often paid by food companies to promote unhealthy food and beverages in their videos,’ said Bragg.
Researchers used data from AI marketing firm Socialbakers to identify the five most-watched kid influencers on YouTube in 2019, whose ages ranged from 3 to 14 years old, and analysed their most-watched videos.
The team searched for 50 of their most-watched videos and 50 of their videos that featured food and drinks on the thumbnail image of the video.
Focusing on a sample of 418 YouTube videos, they assessed whether kid influencers consumed or played with food or toys, quantified the number of minutes food and drink appeared and recorded names of branded food and drinks.
The team then assessed the nutritional quality of foods using the World Health Organisation’s Nutrient Profile Model and identified the number of drinks with added sugar.
The researchers found 42.8 per cent of the most-popular videos from kid influencers promoted food and drinks and more than 90 per cent of these products were unhealthy branded food, drinks, or fast food toys.
Fast food was the most frequently featured junk food, followed by sweets and fizzy drinks.
Only a few videos featured unhealthy unbranded items like hot dogs (4 per cent), healthy unbranded items like fruit (3 per cent), and healthy branded items like yogurt (2 per cent).
The fact videos featuring junk food product placements were viewed more than 1 billion times is a ‘staggering level of exposure’ for food and beverage companies, the team say.
‘Our study is the first to quantify the extent to which junk food product placements appear in YouTube videos from kid influencers,’ said Bragg.
‘It was concerning to see that kid influencers are promoting a high volume of junk food in their YouTube videos, and that those videos are generating enormous amounts of screen time for these unhealthy products.’
Researchers do not know which food and drink product placements were paid endorsements.
But these videos are problematic for public health because they let food companies subtly promote unhealthy foods to young children and their parents.
The UK is moving to ban junk food ads on TV before 9pm in the evening. The government also launched a consultation over a total ban on junk food advertising online
‘It’s a perfect storm for encouraging poor nutrition – research shows that people trust influencers because they appear to be “everyday people” and when you see these kid influencers eating certain foods, it doesn’t necessarily look like advertising,’ said Bragg.
‘But it is advertising, and numerous studies have shown that children who see food ads consume more calories than children who see non-food ads.’
The National Academy of Medicine and World Health Organisation identify food marketing as a major driver of childhood obesity.
The researchers encourage federal and state regulators to strengthen and enforce regulations of junk food advertising by kid influencers.
‘We hope that the results of this study encourage the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to focus on this issue and identify strategies to protect children and public health,’ said study author Jennifer Pomeranz at New York University.
MailOnline has contacted Google, which owns YouTube, about the findings of the study, which has been published in the journal Pediatrics.
THE LINK BETWEEN JUNK FOOD AND TV
A Cancer Research UK survey in 2018 of almost 2,500 children found those who used the internet or watched commercial television for more than half an hour a day were more likely to ask for, buy or eat junk food.
Experts found youngsters who watched more than three hours of commercial TV a day ate an average of ten extra snack items, such as crisps, biscuits or fizzy drinks, a week compared with those who watched very little TV.
However, when they watched TV without adverts, there was no link between screen time and the likelihood of eating more junk food.
Each additional hour children spent watching commercial TV was linked to more than a 20 per cent increased chance of children craving for food they’d seen advertised or buying the food they’d seen advertised.
The children who watched more than three hours of commercial TV a day were 59 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese than children who watched half an hour a day or less.
Researchers found the primary school-age children surveyed spent an average of 16 hours a week on the internet.
Every additional hour children spent online was linked to a 19 per cent increased chance of children asking for food they’d seen advertised and a 19 per cent increased chance of buying the food they’d seen advertised.
Those who used the internet more than 3 hours a day were 79 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese than children who used the internet half an hour a day or less.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
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