To Regulate or Not to Regulate Junk Foods Advertising Aimed at Children?

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MBA 5X09-S Legal Environment of Business Law
September 26, 2012

To Regulate or Not to Regulate Junk Foods Advertising Aimed at Children?

United States faces the risk that the percentage of obesity among children will increase. The percentage of children and adolescents who suffer from this epidemic is 17% (CDC). One generation ago, the rate was three times less than now. The number of obese children is continuously growing, which may cause a danger to children and the future of the country. The risk of obesity does not only mean the risk of diseases and health problems, but also the risks associated with psychological and social impact. There is no doubt that one of the biggest causes of obesity is the unhealthy dietary choices that many children make nowadays (IOM). The larger the increase in the percentage of obese children and thereby the increase in the risks surrounding them, the greater the need to confront this problem. Companies, institutions, parents, and individuals should play a role in fighting obesity, but the role of government is most important. The government can enact laws regulating the process of junk food advertisement aimed at children that contribute to the problem significantly. Although some jurists and businessmen oppose such regulation by government, there is some evidence that regulating junk foods advertisement aimed at children yield positive results.

Opponents of regulating junk food advertisements aimed at children claim that government has no right to take this action because of its expected negative impacts. For example, profit decrease of junk food companies and advertising agencies, which may cause danger to their employees. However, in order to be able to assess this action legally, it is necessary to assess the nature of the right involved and accordingly what standards of review the Supreme Court will use to evaluate the reasonable basis justifying the action. For business and economic regulation, the rational...
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