Tuesday, December 06, 2005

National Academies release report on Food Marketing to Children and Youth

Congress should enact legislation mandating a shift in the emphasis of advertising for children, away from high-calorie low-nutrient food and beverages and toward more healthful alternatives, the Institute of Medicine advised today.

In its new report, entitled Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity, the highly esteemed panel of the National Academies recommended this unprecedented Congressional action, unless the same change in advertising emphasis is accomplished voluntarily without legislation.
If voluntary efforts related to advertising during children's television programming are unsuccessful in shifting the emphasis away from high-calorie and low-nutrient foods and beverages to the advertising of healthful food and beverages, Congress should enact legislation mandating the shift on both broadcast and cable television.
This striking recommendation is rather buried in the new report, and it stands somewhat in contrast to the mild tone and emphasis on public-private partnership in much of the report. The document is available for free online.

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