www.huffingtonpost.com - June 25th, 2012
Despite their participation in the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a self-regulatory industry group pledged to reduce the marketing of unhealthy products to children, the food industry continues to aggressively promote its least nutritious cereals to children.
That's the troubling, but perhaps not surprising, conclusion of a new study, the findings of which were released in summarized form today by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. (The detailed findings will be presented this Sunday during the Biennial Conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues in Charlotte, N.C.)Entitled "the Cereal FACTS report," the study found that although:
companies have improved the nutritional quality of most cereals marketed directly to children... they also have increased advertising to children for many of their least nutritious products...
From 2008 to 2011, total media spending to promote child-targeted cereals increased by 34 percent.
Following up on its 2009 cereal study, the Rudd Center once again examined the nutritional quality of more than 100 brands and nearly 300 individual varieties of cereal, as well as the scope of industry advertising on television, the Internet, and social media sites. Some key findings:
The good news is that the overall nutritional quality improved for 13 of the 14 brands advertised to children, with increases in fiber and decreases in sugar and sodium. And children viewed fewer TV ads for 7 of 14 child-targeted brands, including Corn Pops and Honeycomb.