by Marion Nestle
Nov 15 2008

The latest on food marketing to kids

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has a big project on marketing foods and beverages to children.  Its most recent report singles out television advertising as the most pervasive medium; even babies watch TV and see loads of commercials for junk foods.  The authors, Nicole Larson and Mary Story of the University of Minnesota, provide an excellent one-stop review of methods, expenditures, and other such data, along with useful suggestions for what to do about this problem.

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  • Marmar

    While I am all for the reduction (if not elimination) of junk food related advertising (if not all advertising) to children and adolescents (if not all of us), I think it has to come alongside a commitment to reduce the price of produce and make it more available, and do this without sacrificing quality (i.e. no GMO, no pesticides, no chemical fertilizer). Healthy food has to be not just an option, but a viable option.

  • Edina

    Some countries have banned these types of commercials to be directed toward children under 12.

  • Great points Marmar!

    People that “can’t afford” the prices for fruits and vegetables can often be seen at the checkout with candy, soda, other high fat/sugar/calorie items.
    The prices of produce does seem to be very expensive when compared to so much else in the grocery store. Dr. Nestle talks about the middle aisles in the store as being highly processed. Cheap sources of calories. You won’t find much food there mostly food-like-substances.

    What supports have these companies used to be able to sell such junk at low prices?

    One way is through… Subsidies for corn and wheat.
    We’re looking to 2012-2013 for the next Farm Bill: Let’s support Organic Plant-Based foods like: vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits.
    It’s about time we put an end to the corporate welfare of government subsidies and provide support in a more sustainable way, to foods that work to sustain our health.