A study conducted by Children Now, a California-based child advocacy group, has been released that indicts the food industry for continuing to market unhealthy food to children. Despite many food companies’ expressed willingness in years prior to self-regulate themselves and shift their advertising efforts towards more healthy fare, little change has been seen.
In 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IM) made recommendations to the food industry to reform their marketing strategies towards promoting more healthy, nutritious food rather than junk food. In 2007, the U.S. Council of Better Business Bureaus launched the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, an effort aimed at meeting the IM recommendations. Over 12 of the nation’s largest food producers agreed to cooperate in changing their advertising strategies.
The current study found that despite their promises, the food industry has generally failed to adopt any of the primary recommendations. Advertisements continue to entice children with nutritionally-deficient foods that are attractive to them, often trying to pass their products off as healthy when they are not.