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FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — All advertising and marketing campaigns that target children will be halted by the end of the year, food company Unilever says.

The new policy by the owner of brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Klondike ice cream bars stems from concerns about rising childhood obesity rates, which Unilever said is one of the 21st century’s most serious public health concerns, CBS News reported.

The company noted World Health Organization data showing that 41 million children worldwide were overweight or obese in 2016.

“By the end of 2020, we will stop marketing and advertising foods and beverages to children under the age of 12 in traditional media, and below 13 via social media channels,” Unilever said in a blog post this week, CBS News reported.

In addition, the company said it would limit its use of use of cartoon characters and would not use “any influencers, celebrities or social media stars who primarily appeal to children under the age of 12.”

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