The Federal Trade Commission recently held a forum to discuss the regulation of food-marketing to children. While the "industry-sponsored" Children's Food and Beverage Initiative insists that more regulation is not needed, researchers at the University of Arizona suggest otherwise.
In their investigation (PDF), the researchers found that the majority of food ads produced by self-regulating companies are for junk foods, AND at least 25 percent of junk foods ads come from companies that do not self-regulate. Not only that, healthy food advertisements are almost non-existent.
The researchers from Arizona aren't the only ones concerned about the importance of food-ad regulation. Together, the FTC, FDA, USDA, and the CDC formed a working group and issued a set of proposed standards for marketing foods to kids (PDF).
Whether or not these standards and recommendations will be implemented, however, is yet to be determined and some commentators even question whether the steps being taken by the FTC are meaningful, or go far enough.
What do you think? Should the FTC take a more active role in regulating food marketing aimed at children? Leave a comment and let us know where you stand.
- What Will Stop Food Ads Aimed At Kids? (Atlantic)
- FTC Hearing on Kids' marketing: a preview (Food Politics)