Protecting Children from Harmful Food Marketing

ProtectingChildren from Harmful Food Marketing


ProtectingChildren from Harmful Food Marketing


Companiesspend a considerable amount of money to reach the children directly.This includes products signs packaging and store promotions thatappeals to children (Harris &amp Graff, 2011, p. 4). Tentatively,food campaigns spend in excess of $ 127 million on cross-promotionallicensing, celebrity fees, sponsorships, premiums and philanthropictie-ins. Such programs create a product’s appeal to the childrenthrough associating the foods to entertainment celebrities, popularcartoons and events (Harris &amp Graff, 2011, p4). Additionally, thefast food restaurant spent in excess of $ 360 million in 2006 as toysgiveaways.


Althoughmeasuring locally based marketing approach is increasingly difficult,research documents the extent of child-targeted marketing in theschools and communities. In schools, food marketing includessponsored incentives such as branded food items served in thecafeteria, corporate logos on scoreboards and fundraising programs.Consequently, on television 89 % of food advertisement promotesproducts high in sugar, fat or sodium (Harris &amp Graff, 2011, p.5).

Thisforms of marketing are described as a toxic environment to showcasethe exposure to high-fat, high calories and the readily accessiblefood products. The toxic environment results from unhealthy processedfood products and an extremely inactive lifestyle poised in luxuriouscomforts (Simon &amp Linn, 2013).


Inresponding to the child-targeted marketing, the Children’s Food andBeverage Advertisement Initiative (CFBAI, was created (Harris &ampGraff, 2011, p. 7). It was designed to improve food marketingpractices, where food companies that marketed such foods joined theinitiative. These companies pledged to market only “better-for-you”food products for the children. Nevertheless, this initiative has notbeen successful since participating companies have crafted divergentdefinition of “better-for-you” foods product, that integrateproducts that may be referred to as unhealthful. Additionally,participating companies have asserted that multifaceted marketingapproach for children is not child-targeted advertising, hence arenot subject to these limitations (Harris &amp Graff, 2011, p. 7).


Governmentsare entrusted to create and implement policies that respond to theunhealthful foods in the communities. In this respect, thegovernment’s core responsibility should focus on the protection andpromotion of public health, notably among the vulnerable population,such as children. Evidently, the government is responsible forcreating a partnership that focuses on research and present knowledgeregarding the effectiveness of such policies, as well, transferringthe knowledge to the affected municipalities. The lawmakers ought tospearhead changes in the toxic environment that protect the childrenagainst exposures to obesogenic products.

Contrariwise,the government should maintain a balance between its mandate to servethe general welfare and the interests of organizations and citizensin fairness, freedom and self-determination. Subsequent to itsregulations on children’s food market, the government shouldmaintain a balance between private and public interest.


Someof the policies that can be integrated into the communities include

  1. Banning commercial billboards, leaving out those established on designated advertised establishment.

  2. Integrate provisions in vending contract that reduce the sales and advertisement of obesogenic food products.

  3. Ban the advertisement of obesogenic foods product in the school premises.

  4. Bar fundraisers who consolidate the selling of obesogenic food products.

  5. Employ closed school policies that are geared towards the reduction of student exposure to obesogenic food.


Harris,J., &amp Graff, S. (2011). Protecting Children From Harmful FoodMarketing: Options for

LocalGovernment to Make a Difference. Preventing Chronic Disease, 8(5),A92

Simon,M., &amp Linn, S. (2013). The Dark Side of Marketing Healthy Food toChildren. Retrieved


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