Government Can Regulate Food Advertising to Children Because Cognitive Research Shows that it is Inherently Misleading
The childhood obesity epidemic has prompted calls for government restrictions on child-targeted advertisements for high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. Food and entertainment industry groups have countered that the First Amendment prohibits such government regulation. This article draws on relevant court decisions and scientific research on children’s understanding of advertising to show that all advertising directed at children younger than age twelve, including food and beverage advertising, meets the legal definition of “inherently misleading,” and therefore is not protected by the First Amendment and may be regulated.
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More