132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

State Policy Reform to Limit Marketing to Children: Lessons from the Front Lines in California

Harold Goldstein, DrPH, MPH, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, PO Box 2309, Davis, CA 95616, 530-297-6000, HG@PublicHealthAdvocacy.org

Advertising to children of unhealthy foods and beverages plays a critical role in the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. Children are bombarded with $15 billion a year of marketing and advertising messages most of which encourage them to consume unlimited amounts of low nutrient products almost everywhere they turn and at progressively younger ages. Yet according to the American Psychological Association, children under the age of 5 cannot distinguish between television programming and advertisements, and children under age 9 are unable to understand the persuasive intent and biased nature of advertising.

Building on our success in banning the sale of unhealthy foods and beverages on public elementary and secondary school campuses in California, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy has sponsored a resolution being considered by the State legislature calling on the federal government to ban marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children, and calling on the food/beverage industries, advertisers, and the media to adhere to a strict voluntary code of practice. We are hopeful that passage of this resolution will contribute to a growing national movement to protect children from marketing and advertising of unhealthful foods and beverages through the adoption of strong federal, state, and local policies.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Obesity, Advocacy

Related Web page: www.publichealthadvocacy.org

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.

Food Marketing and Advertising Aimed at Children and Adolescents

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