Nearly one-third of American children and teens are overweight or obese. In 2006, children and adolescents 17 or under were the target of $1.6 billion in marketing expenditures by food, beverage and restaurant companies.
In a 2005 report, the Institute of Medicine made recommendations for ways industry stakeholders could promote a healthful diet. The authors of this new study evaluated how much progress has been made in the five years ending January 2011.
After selecting and categorizing 117 published articles and reports, the investigators concluded the following:
The investigators offer specific suggestions for stakeholder groups to promote a healthful diet to American children and adolescents. These include: conveying consistent and appealing messages; ensuring transparency by sharing relevant marketing data; obtaining companywide commitments; understanding the interactions among companies, marketing practices, and consumer demand; balancing free-market systems goals with protecting young people's health; and committing to monitor and evaluate all efforts.