Pursuing Truth and Transparency in America's Food System

Marketing to Children

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The enormously powerful influence of Big Food and its marketing campaigns are leading young Americans to unhealthy food choices, obesity and type 2 diabetes. They may or may not listen to their parents, but every day they are exposed to countless clever and seductive commercials and other forms of manipulative advertising.

It is time for food company executives to stop subverting parents’ efforts to help their children to grow up strong, bright and healthy.

Advertising to children is inherently deceptive, because children do not have the capacity or experience to understand the persuasive forces deployed against them.

We cannot have a healthy nation that is a free-fire zone for brand bombing and other types of marketing of junk food to children. There will have to be limits on advertising and marketing of unsafe foods to children.

We stand up for the traditional rights of parents to limit the noxious influences on their children, including junk food advertising.

Key Documents on Marketing to Children

Ban on Advertising to Children Linked to Lower Obesity Rates. Catherine Musemeche, New York Times, July 13, 2013.

WHO Urges Tougher Food Marketing Rules To Curb Childhood Obesity. Kate Kelland, Reuters, June 18, 2013.

Limit Fast Food Advertising Toward Kids, Lower Childhood Obesity Rates. Deirdre Imus, Fox News, July 20, 2012.

How Food Ads Could Fuel Childhood Obesity. Fox News, November 30, 2012.

Commercials Are the Culprit in TV-Obesity Link. Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times, February 9, 2010.

TV Ads Contribute to Childhood Obesity, Economists Say. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, November 20, 2008.

How Washington Went Soft on Childhood Obesity. Duff Wilson and Janet Roberts. Reuters, April 27, 2012.

Junk Food Nation: Who’s to Blame for Childhood Obesity. Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor, The Nation, August 29, 2005.

Report Links TV Ads and Childhood Obesity. Marian Burros, New York Times, December 6, 2005.

Health Experts Call for Worldwide Ban on Marketing of Junk Food to Kids. Commercial Alert, February 27, 2004.

The Fast Food Trap: How Commercialism Creates Overweight Children. Gary Ruskin, Mothering magazine, 2003.