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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Food Marketing and Advertising Aimed at Children

Margo Wootan, DSc, Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009, 202-777-8352, mwootan@cspinet.org

Children’s food choices are affected by many factors. One of the most important is that food companies have developed an enormous number of high-calorie foods and aggressively market them to children. Food marketing now reaches children almost everywhere they are throughout the day – through television, magazines, websites, product placement in movies, new products, product packaging, in-store displays, books, clothing, and even in school, as well as ubiquitous fast-food restaurants and vending machines. Harry Potter, SpongeBob Squarepants, Winnie the Pooh, Elmo, games, contests, prizes and sports stars are enlisted to entice children to request low-nutrition foods.

Actions are needed by governments, schools, industry, parents, health professionals and others to reduce the marketing of low-nutrition foods to children. They include restricting the marketing to children of high-calorie, low-nutrition foods on television, in magazines, schools and other child-directed venues. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments should be funded to sponsor aggressive media-based campaigns to promote healthy eating and physical activity (like the VERB campaign) to balance the pressures to eat low-nutrition foods. Parents, health professionals, and other community members should urge broadcasters, food companies and restaurants to voluntarily adhere to guidelines for responsible food marketing aimed at children.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Obesity, Marketing

Related Web page: www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Food Marketing and Advertising Aimed at Children and Adolescents

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA