The topic of digital food environments has been a core part of my work as consultant at the WHO Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases.
Digital food environments are the online settings through which flows of services and information that influence people’s food and nutrition choices and behaviour are directed. They encompass a range of elements, including social media, digital health promotion interventions, digital food marketing and online food retail. The past decades have seen growth in the time people spend on online platforms. Food marketing has taken on new forms in the digital space and many online platforms have introduced marketing of food and drink products in their content. It is difficult to regulate the marketing of unhealthy products, as advertising has become more targeted and personal and, consequently, more difficult to monitor.