Food Marketing’s Role in Childhood Obesity

April 19, 2010

Healthy Kids Challenge shares insights regarding the role of food marketing in childhood obesity…along with our simple, every day, evidence-based solutions. 

Concerns:

Four large surveys of the food consumption of U.S. children over the past three decades have yielded troubling findings. Desserts and sweetened beverages were the major sources of calories that children consumed from snacks. And through such techniques as sophisticated neuromarketing, food manufacturers and distributors have tried to influence children to buy more junk food through advertisements.

Policy Recommendations:

From Health Affairs journal:

Limit advertising directed at children that tries to influence them to purchase unhealthy and high-calorie foods.

Solutions:

  • Speak up to limit advertising of unhealthy and high-calorie foods directed at children. Talk with your state and local government representatives about the issue. Let food manufacturers know your concerns.
  • Educate the kids you lead about the good and bad of advertising and food marketing. Teach kids to be educated food consumers and lead them toward healthier food purchasing decisions.
  • Discuss healthy, tasty snack options with kids.
  • Create healthy snack lists and policies at your school or youth program to encourage nutritious snack choices.

Has your school or youth program taken action to provide healthy snack choices for kids? Share your story!

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