The Impact of Industry Self-Regulation on the Nutritional Quality of Foods Advertised on Television to Children

Dec 12, 2009

Download file: adstudy_2009.pdf

In 2007, major food companies such as Kellogg, General Mills, ConAgra and PepsiCo banded together and pledged to stop advertising unhealthy foods to children. Children Now’s report, The Impact of Industry Self-Regulation on the Nutritional Quality of Foods Advertised on Television to Children, holds the industry accountable to its promise. This landmark report raises serious doubt about the future viability of industry self-regulation to help address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.

Despite a major effort at self-regulation, nearly three out of four (72.5%) of the foods advertised on television to children are for products in the poorest nutritional category. Known as “Whoa” foods, these products should be consumed only on “special occasions, such as your birthday,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Advertising for truly healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits, known as “Go” products, is virtually invisible. Commercials for such foods account for only 1% of all food advertising to children.

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