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Rudd Radar

Parent Advocates as a Strategy to Improve Food Marketing to Children

September 11, 2013

Citing evidence that shows federal efforts to improve food marketing practices to children over the past thirty years have led to modest improvements, former Director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, William Dietz, says that commercial interests continue to override the health concerns of children in the September 9, 2013 issue of Health Affairs.

In his commentary, Dietz offers suggestions on how to limit children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing such as mobilization of parents as a political force to improve standards for food marketed to children, use of social media for counter advertising, and the development of new technologies to decrease exposure to food advertisements.

Dietz asserts that pediatricians, advocates, and consumer groups must help mobilize parents to be a political force when it comes to reducing unhealthy food marketing.

“Increased efforts by pediatricians, advocates, and consumer groups to inform parents about the pervasive and intrusive nature of food marketing and the impact of such advertising on their children’s health may help mobilize parents as an effective political force and increase demand for technological and other strategies that will help parents limit the food marketing to which their children are exposed,” said Dietz.

The Rudd Center’s parent advocate website, Rudd 'Roots Parents, provides parents with easy-to-use tools, information, and research to help navigate and change the food marketing environment.