A report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health at the University of Connecticut found that most U.S. children are still vulnerable to brand marketing of unhealthy food and beverages.
In fact, more than one-third of food products advertised specifically to kids, such as sugary cereals and sweet snacks, are not considered healthy dietary options.
This is despite the nutritional standards set by the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.
Companies that participate in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative still promote other unhealthy brands and products with marketing that appeals to children under the age of 12 years via packaging, websites, in-store displays, and sponsorships, the researchers said.
In addition, young people ages 12 to 17 years are not protected from marketing under the current guidelines, and companies still can advertise brands directly to children, even when the majority of products offered by those brands do not meet nutrition criteria, they said.
Researchers also noted that most companies continue to offer unhealthful products that appeal to children, adding that the initiative must address loopholes and expand its audience definition to include children up to at least 14 years old.
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