Kids, Cartoons, and Cookies: Should We Restrict the Marketing of Food to Children?
Public health officials are growing increasingly concerned with rising rates of childhood obesity. Some nutrition and consumer advocates have suggested that much of the rise may lie in the way food — particularly food high in sugar — is marketed to children. In the 1970s, the United States nearly banned the food industry from marketing food to children due to concerns over tooth decay. Many groups are now calling for the Federal Trade Commission to revisit such a ban. Sweden already bans direct marketing to children. Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, Greece, and several other countries may follow suit. Are food marketers and advertisers responsible for overweight kids? Should the United States prevent the direct marketing of food to children?