(1) Press Release on 9.11.15 by Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians on Food Advertising and Promotion

 The food industry has a special interest in targeting children to promote food and beverages. Advertising on high fat and sweetened food is a cause for concern and there is an alarming rise of non-communicable diseases in Sri Lanka. With the expansion of IT industry these companies uses different avenues to reach children such as television, Internet and mobile phones.

These companies influence children’s immediate dietary preferences and promote building taste preferences and brand loyalty early in life, which lasts into adulthood. Research has found strong associations between increases in advertising for unhealthy food and increase rates of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity epidemic is an escalating health problem that increases morbidity, mortality in addition to having long-term economic and social issues.

Parents should be aware of promotion of unhealthy food habits and need to be cautious when buying them. They must raise their concern and join hands to strengthen consumer rights to have healthy food for healthy life.

Therefore, food advertising should come under scrutiny of the government and stern action should be taken to curb unethical food advertising. It is high time to promote a dialogue among the media and food industries to develop a code of ethics on food advertising to implement voluntary restrictions on marketing overseen by the government.

We support and advocate all policy decisions taken to protect children from adverse impacts of marketing of food and beverages.

-President, Council and Members of SLCP

(2) Celebrations of World Prematurity Day 2015

 Press Release by the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians (SLCP) on 17.11.2015

On 17th November 2015, we will be celebrating the 5th World Prematurity day and we are happy to organize celebrations in Sri Lanka for this event. Since its first inception in 2011 it has grown to be one of the most important dates to raise awareness for the challenges of preterm birth.

This year, World Prematurity Day will join the year-round and worldwide campaign giving a voice to preterm infants, and also visualising all those who are making a difference for preterm babies and their families.

The Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians has organized an event at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital on the 17th of November 2015 from 2 to 5 pm. At this event, preterm children who have graduated from premature units around the country will perform at a concert in the presence of Honourable Deputy Minister of Health and other dignitaries. The event will culminate in colour washing of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital building in accordance with the colours of the world theme.

We would like to warmly invite you to celebrate with us World Prematurity Day raising awareness on the global burden of preterm birth and making a difference for preterm infants.

Your contribution, however small it may seem, is important to help preterm infants around the world and adds strength to the global voice. It will also demonstrate support for the parents of these little ones in Sri Lanka.

-President, Council and Members of SLCP.