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Issue Brief Food Safety and SecurityMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

The FTC Could Help Curb the Youth Obesity Epidemic by Cracking Down on the Deceptive Advertising of Unhealthy Foods During Children’s Programming Hours

May 18, 2022


Consumption of nutrient-poor food with high levels of sugar and saturated fats has led to an obesity epidemic among children in the U.S., contributing to increased rates of chronic disease, early mortality risk, and negative effects on learning and development, with substantial economic and societal costs. This issue brief assesses how marketing plays a significant role in children’s nutrition-related beliefs and behaviors. It also suggests that the Federal Trade Commission revisit its responsibility under the FTC Act to regulate the deceptive marketing of unhealthy food to children.