February 21st, 2005
By Ben Kelley
The U.S. food and advertising industries maintain a system of self-regulation of marketing messages promoting the purchase and consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrition foods to children. This paper presents an extensive review and summary of global assessments of self-regulation in general, as well as of commentaries specifically addressing the world-wide state of regulation directed at food advertising that targets children. It concludes that the U.S. self-regulatory system is ineffective when measured against available criteria for gauging the adequacy of self-regulation, and also ineffective in the context of the worsening obesity epidemic and its damaging impact on children.
Ben Kelley is a board member of the Public Health Advocacy Institute.