Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size
A
A
A

Watchdog Group: Reduce Junk Food Ads For Kids

Advocates Say Junk Food Ads Make Obesity Epidemic Worse
By
WebMD Health News

Jan. 6, 2005 -- A watchdog group called on food and beverage makers Thursday to scale back advertising of junk food to children, warning that relentless marketing is contributing to rising rates of obesity among young people.

The report calls on food manufacturers, media companies, schools, and others to limit child-targeted marketing to foods that meet criteria for good nutrition. It also asks companies to scale back the use of marketing techniques pairing unhealthy food with popular cartoon characters, movies, and other images that children enjoy but critics say undermine the ability of parents to monitor what kids eat.

Ideally, only healthful foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products would be marketed to kids, writes the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in a news release.

"If companies want to put [Finding] Nemo toys in bags of baby carrots, we're all for it. But that's not what's happening," says Margo G. Wootan, who authored the guidelines for the CSPI.

Instead, the group displayed dozens of food products identifiable not only by their high-fat or sugar contents, but also by bright packaging, movie tie-ins, or cartoon character endorsement on boxes. "What we're really asking is that marketers act responsibly, and not urge kids to eat foods that could harm their health," says Wootan.

Advocates have long called for curbs on advertising aimed at minors, complaining that companies target youngsters who spend more time than ever absorbing media messages.

Federal lawmakers and regulators have balked at efforts to curb food industry advertising, usually citing free speech concerns. Wootan says that Thursday's guidelines are a call for companies to voluntarily change their marketing practices.

Companies should now cease targeting children for advertising about foods high in fat, sugar, or sodium or those that are delivered in unreasonably large portion sizes, the guidelines state. They also call on media companies and schools to refuse to market foods and drinks that do not meet basic nutritional standards for kids.

The CSPI suggests that companies market:

  • Drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and no added caloric sweeteners
  • Water and seltzer without added caloric sweeteners
  • Low-fat and fat-free milk, including flavored milks

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow