Marketing Food to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities, and Self-Regulation

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Concern over the dramatic increase in childhood obesity led Congress to request the FTC to conduct a study of food and beverage marketing geared towards children and teenagers. The report found that 44 major food and beverage marketers spent $1.6 billion to promote their products to children and teenagers in the United States in 2006.

The report calls for all food companies “to adopt and adhere to meaningful, nutrition-based standards for marketing their products to children under 12.” Companies should also re-examine whether a product that has “less” of, or is “reduced” in calories, fat or sodium is “a sufficient basis for qualifying as a ‘better for you’ product.”

The report also recommends these companies expand public outreach efforts “to educate children and adolescents about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.” Free, 120 pages. (202) 326-2222,


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