Marketing Foods to Children: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

Charlene Elliott
2012 Childhood Obesity  
The childhood obesity epidemic has prompted a range of regulatory initiatives that seek to reduce the impact of food marketing on children. Policy recommendations by government and public health organizations have suggested regulating the promotion of high-sugar, -fat, and/or -salt foods to children, while the food industry has created voluntary nutrition guidelines to channel childtargeted marketing toward only "better-for-you" products. This article argues that the overarching focus on
more » ... ing focus on nutrient profile of foods (nutritionism) is wrong-headed: The slippage in terms from "better-for-you" foods to "healthy dietary choices" is problematic and also makes it difficult for children to identify the healthy choice. Nutritionism further works to sidestep important questions pertaining to the ethics of food marketing, not to mention the way that marketing foods as fun and entertainment works to encourage overeating in children.
doi:10.1089/chi.2012.0013 pmid:22799544 fatcat:2zygae67bzcclpplo53stu4k5i