Published: February 2012

ID #: 1056

Journal: Health Aff (Millwood)

Authors: Graff S, Kunkel D, Mermin SE

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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.

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