The Nordic countries are to co-operate in monitoring companies targeting children with so-called junk-food products.

A protocol has been developed between representatives and experts from Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, together with international experts including the World Health Organization (WHO).

They have come together to monitor the tactics used by those food and drink companies who are targeting children and young people with products containing high levels of sugar, salt or fat.

The protocol – a project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers – describes methods of how to monitor marketing of foods and beverages towards children and young people as well as the monitoring of trends. 

“The data provided could also be used for evaluation purposes, for instance providing relevant data for evaluating regulation practices and schemes in the respective countries; to study advertising and marketing practices, contents and forms over time,” the protocol said.

“In addition to being a tool for monitoring purposes within each country, the protocol will also enable comparisons between the Nordic countries by establishing a joint understanding on how each marketing channel should be monitored.”

The WHO’s Jo Jewel welcomed the initiative. She said on Twitter: “This fantastic tool will help advocate policies and close loopholes.”

Sweden recently pulled back from introducing a tax on sugar-laden products.