Estimates are as high as $10 billion spent on advertising all types of food and beverages to America’s children and youth. According to the Federal Trade Commission report, "Marketing Food to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities, and Self-Regulation," 44 major food and beverage marketers spent $1.6 billion to promote their products to children under 12 and adolescents ages 12 to 17 in the United States in 2006. The report found that companies use an integrated approach to advertise food to youth that combines traditional media, such as television, packaging, in-store advertising, sweepstakes, and the Internet. These campaigns often involve cross-promotion with a new movie or popular television program.
In "Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States," the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that children and adolescents see up to 6,100 televised food advertisements a year. Approximately a third of the ads are for candy and snacks, a fourth are for cereal, and a tenth are for fast food. Only 5% are for healthy foods/beverages such as dairy products and fruit juice. None are for fruits and vegetables.
For more information on food marketing and your kids, see the following Families Food & Fitness resources:
Food Marketing to Children: It's Not Just TV Commercials
Television's Impact on Eating Habits
Media, Body Image, and Unhealthy
Teaching Your Children about the Media
Find what you were looking for? These answers from Families Food & Fitness may also be helpful.
What effect are all of the commercials for junk food having on my child?
Have there been studies that linked excessive time watching television to child overweight issues?
What advertising techniques are typically used to communicate a message?
Federal Trade Commission. "Marketing Food to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities and Self-Regulation." A Report to Congress July 2008. www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/07/foodmkting.shtm
Kaiser Family Foundation. "Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States." 2007.