Report: What is the Food Industry Marketing to Children?


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Children see 10 to 13 food-related advertisements per day on television, half of which air during programs specifically for children. Research shows Latino kids see more junk food advertisements than their peers.

The industry-based Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) and the government-based Interagency Working Group (IWG), have each created voluntary nutrition guidelines for food and beverage products advertised on children’s programs.  Although many food and beverage companies participate in the CFBAI, improvement in the nutritional content of advertised food and beverage products has been limited.

Researchers wanted to compare the CFBAI’s list of food and beverage products approved to be advertised on children’s television programs with the federal Interagency Working Group’s nutrition recommendations for such products.

They found that 53% of the listed products did not meet the nutrition recommendations and, therefore, were ineligible to be advertised. Sugar was the most common IWG-recommended nutrient to limit that was not met among the listed products.

If they are going to advertise their products to children, the food industry should pick healthier products or products that meet nutritional standards. The authors of the study recommend continuous monitoring of food marketing to children by the government and moms and dads alike.

Read the full report here.

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