The advertising of foods and beverages with low nutritional value has been identified as a contributor to rising obesity rates among children. Food and beverage manufacturers often use health claims to promote their products to consumers, including parents seeking nutritious options for their children. While health claims may take varied forms (e.g., “diets low in fat may reduce the risk of certain cancers”; “light in sodium”; “calcium builds strong bones”), the law prohibits the use of deceptive claims. This toolkit provides general information for stakeholders interested in learning more about legal approaches to address potentially deceptive claims on foods and beverages marketed to children. The toolkit provides an issue brief on potentially deceptive claims on foods and beverages marketed to children; answers to frequently asked questions about potentially deceptive claims; a description of legal authority to address potentially deceptive claims at the federal, state, and individual (i.e., litigation) levels; and a list of relevant recent cases that involved potentially deceptive claims.
Legal Approaches to Addressing Deceptive Claims on Foods and Beverages Marketed to Children
Deceptive health claims on foods and beverages are prohibited by law, and may be addressed through litigation or government regulatory efforts. This article analyzes legal actions against potentially deceptive health claims and presents recommendations for those interested in pursuing legal approaches. Researchers identified and reviewed 115 health claims on foods … More
Developing a Legal Review and Toolkit for Reviewing the Health Claims for Food Marketed to Children and Their Families
The food industry often uses health claims to promote its products to consumers, including parents seeking nutritious options for their children. Parents and children in low-income and racial/ethnic minority households at greatest risk for childhood obesity are disproportionately exposed to these claims through advertising. Regulators can pursue deceptive and/or unfair … More
Retailers and other organizations currently use a variety of nutrition standards and recommendations to guide consumers towards healthier, “Better for You”, options. This variety can be confusing to consumers. Healthy Eating Research convened a scientific advisory committee to review existing “Better-For-You” nutrition standards, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. The … More