VIDEO: Advocates Launch Campaign to Protect Kids from Junk Food Marketing

BlogHer Original Post

Food advocates and researchers across the country launched a campaign today to protect kids from junk food marketing. "We're Not Buying It," a video- and petition-based campaign that asks President Obama to step in and support voluntary guidelines around those marketing efforts, highlights what the organizations behind it believe are deceptive marketing campaigns that ultimately affect kids' health.

According to a 2008 Federal Trade Commission report to Congress, the 44 major food and beverage companies spent $1.6 billion in 2006 on marketing to kids. Research shows kids see an average of more than ten food-related ads per day.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently reviewing a proposed set of voluntary guidelines that set a model for companies that market food to kids. Heather Carr at Eat Drink Better is one of the 28,000 people who submitted comments in support of those guidelines this past summer:

Junk food—not just fast food, but also sugary cereals, candy, and various sugared-up food substitutes—is marketed to children in a wide variety of ways. Television advertising and fun toys in the bottom of the cereal box were all I had when I was a kid. Nowadays, online games and actually marketing to kids in schools are popular methods.

On upstream, Linden Thayer wonders if marketers could focus their creative powers on healthy food:

You and I know that fruits and veggies should be an important part of our lives. We eat with our eyes (think about the beautiful people and juicy burgers present in every fast food commercial you have ever seen)—what’s not beautiful about colorful, crisp fruits and veggies? Health communicators need to get their heads in the game and figure out cooler, faster, funnier marketing for the foods our bodies love most!

The Prevention Institute in Oakland, CA has made a petition to President Obama available for parents and others interested in participating in the campaign.

Are you concerned about how junk food is marketed to kids? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also the Food Section Editor for BlogHer.


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