Child ads
It is estimated children directly influence the buying decisions of at least $200 billion spent on food purchases each year. Not surprisingly, at least $15 billion a year is now spent on advertising that is targeted at children. The fast food industry alone accounts for $4 billion of these ads –many of which deceptively portray unhealthy foods in a positive light. Our Surgeon General has declared childhood obesity a national epidemic. Overweight children are showing up in our doctor’s offices with adult health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Some have even shown early signs of heart disease. It is estimated that the average American child watches between 25,000 to 40,000 TV commercials each year, about double the amount viewed by British children. Statistics show children who watch Saturday morning TV view more than twice as many ads for unhealthy foods as do adults during programs airing after 9pm. Advocates say this is not a coincidence.

As junk-food ads have the potential to harm a child’s physical health, some say viewing inappropriate media may be detrimental to their mental health. Our Federal Trade Commission says our entertainment industries routinely market adult-rated movies, music and video games to children under 17 years old. Only some of these manufacturers have put content warning labels on their products, but even so, adult-rated video games continue to be easily purchased by children most of the time. Studies have found that even in retail stores with programs to restrict such sales, minors were successful in purchasing restricted video games more than 70% of the time. Congress has long asked these industries to voluntarily and accurately rate their products for violent and adult content, and to prevent children’s access to this material. Studies on the possible link between video games and aggression have been inconclusive.

Pending Legislation: None

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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