Challenges and Opportunities for Change in Food Marketing to Children and Youth - Workshop Summary
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The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem, and it will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. The most recent data show that almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children age 2-11 saw and average of more than 10 television food ads per day. Internet-based advergames, cell phones, and social network marketing create even more avenues for children to be exposed to food advertisements. The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. A 2006 IOM report provided evidence that television advertising influences the food and beverage preferences, requests, and short-term consumption of children.
To review progress and explore opportunities for action on food and beverage marketing that targets children and youth, the IOM’s Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention hosted a workshop on November 5, 2012. The workshop featured presentations and discussion on contemporary trends in marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth and the implications of those trends for obesity prevention. This document summarizes the workshop.