Regulating Food Advertising and Freedom of Speech
Perspectives on Advertising and Children
As the author of article “Regulating Food Advertising to Children,” Margo G. Wootan proposes, “Responsible food marketing to children must address not only how food is marketed but also which foods are marketed to kids (334).” She believes that even in the absence of government control there should be some guideline for food marketing to act responsibly and not encourage children to eat foods that are harmful to their health and well-being. Because of the increasing rate of childhood obesity in the United States, the author suggests a compromise approach between marketing techniques and nutritional criteria to be met for children up to the age of eighteen (333). Food marketing is extremely influential in children’s food choices since it attracts their attention with the appeal of contests, prizes, cartoon characters, and their celebrity icons. Although parents are a huge accountability for the food their children eat, Wootan believes it’s rather difficult for parents to compete with what marketing advertises as healthy as opposed to what parents consider is healthy for their children (333). The author suggests marketing being consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with the reduction of calories, sodium, refined sugars, and saturated and trans fats in order to support not overeating with reasonable portion sizes directly and indirectly. Also, to stop and prevent unhealthy eating habits, food marketing should redesign products to improve their nutritional quality, including adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains presented in homes as well as school environments (335). As Wootan states, “The marketing of products that may not be nutritionally ideal but provide some positive nutritional benefit and that could help children meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans” is the ultimate...