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Companies participating in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) voluntary industry self-regulatory program – established in 2007 – have pledged to only advertise “healthier dietary choices” in “child-directed media.” However, numerous studies document limitations in company pledges that allow them to continue to extensively market unhealthy products to children and teens.

Experts urge food companies to strengthen nutrition standards for products that can be advertised to children and expand the program to cover all forms of marketing to children up to age 14.

Rudd Center Research

  • FACTS 2017. Food industry self-regulation after 10 years: Progress and opportunities to improve food advertising to children. November 2017.
  • Boyland, E.J. & Harris, J.L. (2017). Regulation of food marketing to children: are statutory or industry self-governed systems effective? Public Health Nutrition, 20(3), 761-764.
  • Harris, J.L., LoDolce, M.E., Dembek, C. & Schwartz, M.B. (2015). Sweet promises: Candy advertising to children and implications for food industry self-regulation. Appetite, 95(1), 585-592.
  • Harris, J.L., LoDolce, M.E., & Schwartz, M.B. (2014). Encouraging Big Food to do the right thing for children’s health: A case study on using research to improve marketing of sugary cereals. Critical Public Health, 25(3), 320-332.
  • Harris, J.L., Sarda, V., Schwartz, M.B., & Brownell, K.D. (2013). Redefining “child-directed advertising” to reduce unhealthy television food advertising. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(4), 358-364.
  • Powell, L.M., Harris, J.L., & Fox, T. (2013). Food marketing expenditures aimed at youth: Putting the numbers in context. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(4), 453-461.
  • Hawkes, C. & Harris, J.L. (2011). An analysis of the content of food industry pledges on marketing to children. Public Health Nutrition, 14(8); 1403-1414.

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