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UConn Rudd Releases New Report on Unhealthy Food Ads

The UConn Rudd Center recently released their FACTS 2017 Report. The report, Food industry self-regulation after 10 years: Progress and opportunities to improve food advertising to children, assesses the impact of industry voluntary improvements on children’s total exposure to TV and internet food advertising, companies’ compliance with their pledges, and limitations in industry self-regulation after 10 years of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI). 


UConn Rudd LogoChildren are viewing less food-related advertising, especially on children’s TV and the internet, since the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) industry self-regulatory program was launched in 2007, according to a new study – FACTS 2017 – by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. As part of the voluntary Initiative, major food and beverage companies pledged to shift the mix of foods advertised to children under 12 to encourage healthier dietary choices.

Yet children still see 10 to 11 food-related TV ads per day, promoting mostly unhealthy products including fast food, candy, sweet and salty snacks, and sugary drinks. Moreover, the majority of CFBAI companies have not responded to repeated calls from public health experts to further strengthen nutrition standards for products they identify as healthier dietary choices that can be advertised directly to children, expand the Initiative to cover children up to at least 14 years old, and expand the types of media covered by their pledges to include programming that children frequently view as well as all forms of marketing that appeal to children, such as mobile apps with branded games and YouTube videos.

View the full report here.