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Children Now Statement on National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Sep 22, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to President Barack Obama’s proclamation of September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Jeff McIntyre, national policy director for Children Now, states:

“Children Now is encouraged by the attention given to childhood obesity, as the nation recognizes September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. However, among the many steps taken to address the obesity epidemic, Children Now remains concerned about the lack of progress made to curb unhealthy food marketing to children. The failure to address food marketing as part of a comprehensive approach to combating childhood obesity leaves children vulnerable and places a difficult burden on parents to combat marketing’s established influence on their children’s food preferences.

“According to a recent Federal Trade Commission report sent to Congress, the food and beverage industry spends nearly $2 billion on food marketing and advertising specifically aimed at children.
“The response from media companies to address childhood obesity in their own advertising practices to children has also been poor. Children Now finds nearly three out of four foods advertised on television to children are for products in the poorest nutritional category. Children Now looks forward to the FTC’s upcoming report to Congress on a proposed uniform standard for food marketing to children.

“The failure to address unhealthy food marketing to the nation’s children is a failure to address the childhood obesity epidemic. A month for Childhood Obesity Awareness is the time to take action on unhealthy food marketing to children.”

View Children Now’s comments to the FTC here.

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