FTC studying kid food marketing


With reports of a nationwide obesity epidemic being released like clockwork, particularly affecting the nation’s children, the FCC is looking into the marketing of food to children and is seeking input.

FTC said it’s seeking to “collect information from food and beverage companies and quick-service restaurants on promotional activities, nutrition information, and expenditures for products marketed to children and adolescents.”

The request refers to and asks for comment on the study, “Marketing Food To Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities, and Self-Regulation,” available online at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/07/P064504foodmktingreport.pdf.

Comments are due 11/23/09.

RBR-TVBR observation: It may help parents somewhat to be able to walk through a grocery store or drive in search of a restaurant without their children clamoring for something that they learned about in the media. And it would help if there were more healthy options and less unhealthy ones being sold in the first place.

But ultimately, parents decide what goes in the cart, or which parking lot they pull into. We would caution regulators to study the entire universe of food when approaching this problem, not just the advertising component.