Published: August 2014

ID #: 68301

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

Authors: Otten JJ

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Nearly $2 billion is spent yearly by U.S. food and beverage companies to market products to children, with the majority of expenditures promoting less healthful foods and drinks. For restaurants, including toys with children’s meals is the leading form of food marketing directed at children. The practice of child-directed marketing by pairing toys with children’s meals has been targeted as a potential policy focus to improve the nutritional quality of restaurant children’s meals and help parents in their efforts to purchase healthy options while eating out. This issue brief examines the evidence related to restaurant marketing practices using toys and discusses policy implications.

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