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Brownback Addresses Kaiser Family Foundation Study

Examines impact of food advertising on children

 

Contact: Brian Hart, Becky Ogilvie, Sam Brownback United States Senator, 202-224-6521

 

WASHINGTON, Mar. 28 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today commented on "Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States," a study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

 

"This study is a wake-up call that we all must do more to address the impact of food advertising on children," said Brownback.  "The dramatic rise in childhood obesity rates is a something that cannot be ignored.  On a daily basis, the average child in America is exposed to dozens of television advertisements for junk food."

 

Brownback spoke at today's panel discussion during which the Kaiser Family Foundation announced the publication of a new study, "Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States."  The study finds, in part, that children between the ages of 8 and 12 see more than 20 food ads daily; 34% of all food ads targeting children or teens are for candy and snacks; and half of all ads shown during children's shows are for food.  

 

Brownback continued, "I am hopeful that both parents and advertisers pay close attention to the findings of this study.  Through my participation in the Joint Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity I have become aware of the industry's desire to voluntarily broadcast more healthful messages to children." 

 

Brownback last year joined Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and FCC Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Deborah Taylor Tate to announce the formation the Joint Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity of a public and private task force to examine the impact of media and advertising on children's health. 

 

According to a National Health Examination Survey, the percentage of overweight children has more than tripled over the past 40 years.  American companies spend $15 billion a year marketing and advertising to children under the age of 12, twice the amount spent 10 years ago.  Children influence about $500 billion in annual spending on products like cereal, candy and fast food.

 

Brownback is a member of the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.