New Report Demonstrates Food Industry Self-Regulation Has Failed; Junk Food Still Extensively Marketed to Children

Date of Release: 

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009
Contact:  Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>commercialfreechildhood.org)
For Immediate Release

New Report Demonstrates Food Industry Self-Regulation Has Failed;
Junk Food Still Extensively Marketed to Children

Today, a landmark study, The Impact of Industry Self-Regulation on the Nutritional Quality of Foods Advertised on Television to Children, was released by Children Now.  The study conclusively demonstrates that the food industry's self-regulation efforts have failed to significantly improve the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children. 

Below is the statement of CCFC's Director Dr. Susan Linn on the study:

Two and a half years ago, amid great fanfare, major food companies announced a new era in self-regulation.  They created the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, promising to stop marketing foods of poor nutritional value to children.  Instead, as this report conclusively demonstrates, these foods still constitute a clear majority of the food marketed to children today. Most disturbingly, companies participating in the much-heralded Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative have actually increased their manipulation of children by escalating the use of beloved licensed characters to market unhealthy food.

It's clear that food industry self-regulation has failed.  Its only accomplishment has been to forestall meaningful reforms that would improve the health and wellbeing of children. Hopefully this study will serve as a wake-up call for those who held out hope that the food industry would reform its marketing practices on its own.  It is past time for Congress to restrict the food industry's access to children.

The study The Impact of Industry Self-Regulation on the Nutritional Quality of Foods Advertised on Television to Children can be downloaded at http://publications.childrennow.org/publications/media/adstudy_2009.htm.

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