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Reports & Research

California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being, 2014-15

KIDS COUNT Data Book, 2013

The Future of Children’s Media: Advertising, Conference Report, 2007


The Effects of Interactive Media on Preschoolers’ Learning, 2007

Fall Colors: Prime Time Diversity Report, 2003

Boys to Men: Conference Report on Media Messages About Masculinity, 1999

A Different World, 1999

See All Reports & Research



Related News

Disney junk food ad ban guided by CU nutrition center (Denver Post)

More Empty Recommendations on Junk Food Marketing to Children (The Huffington Post)

Special Report: How Washington went soft on childhood obesity (Reuters)


Pediatricians: Stop Marketing Junk to Kids (TakePart.com)

Foreclosure Crisis Taking Heavy Toll on California Kids (KQED-FM)

Food Fight (Nation’s Restaurant News)

See All News


Facts & Figures

Existing research shows that children’s exposure to television advertising for non-nutritious food products is a significant risk factor contributing to childhood obesity.

See All Facts & Figures




Coverage Info & Resources for Children with Special Needs

Children Now brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of important protections for children’s media

Claiming Health: Front-of-Package Labeling of Children’s Food


Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation: White House Taskforce on Childhood Obesity Report to the President

Children Now comments submitted to the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity


The media that children consume—including TV shows, news stories, movies, music and video games—deliver subtle and not-so-subtle messages that inform their attitudes about race, class and gender. Understanding the impact these messages are having on children is critical to developing supportive media policies and industry practices.

Television not only fails to accurately reflect the world in which young people live, but it also sends a message that some groups of people are more valued by society and worthy of attention than others.

Children Now is a recognized leader in examining how race, gender and class are depicted in the media.

Children Now’s Fall Colors:
A Seminal Study of Race, Class & Gender on TV

Today, 44 percent of American children ages 19 and under are children of color, yet few of the faces they see on television represent their race or cultural heritage. Similarly, though females outnumber males in the real world, prime-time television continues to present a world that is overwhelmingly male. Therefore, television not only fails to accurately reflect the world in which young people live, but it also sends a message that some groups of people are more valued by society and worthy of attention than others.

Children Now’s study of diversity on prime-time television, Fall Colors, presents an overview of the state of racial and gender diversity for the current prime-time season and a five-year longitudinal report on the progress, or lack thereof, that has been made towards achieving a truly diverse prime-time world. The study was completed annually from 2000-03.

Read Fall Colors 2003

All annual editions of Fall Colors are available in the Reports & Research section of this website.

Violence, Gender & Race
in Video Games

Today’s video games offer lifelike characters and rich, graphic imagery that deliver very realistic experiences. With growing numbers of children playing these games, it is important to examine how the games’ messages about violence, gender and race are affecting our children.

Studies have found that playing video games can improve children’s visual attention skills, as well as their spatial, iconic and computer literacy skills. In addition, educational games can improve children’s academic performance. However, other studies show relationships between playing video games and unhealthy outcomes for children, such as isolation and loneliness, obesity, belief in gender stereotypes and increased aggressive behavior. In fact, video games’ unique interactive capabilities may make them even more likely to influence children’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors than more traditional forms of media.

Children Now’s study, Fair Play? Violence, Gender and Race in Video Games, identifies some unhealthy social messages that video games send children about violence, gender and race. The report also contains ideas for improving games for children.

Read Fair Play? Violence, Gender and Race in Video Games

TV News Coverage’s Picture
of Children

As a primary source of information for the public, the news media can set the public agenda and shape public opinion. A growing body of research demonstrates that the news media routinely paint a distorted view of children. Local television news, in particular, plays a key role since the majority of adults their news through local broadcasts.

Children Now’s study, Local Television News Media’s Picture of Children, shows children are much more likely to be depicted on the local news in the context of crime and violence than in other situations.

Read Local Television News Media’s Picture of Children