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Learn about Food Marketing Aimed at Kids

Take This Action Commit to this action for yourself to help overcome the obesity epidemic.

Learning how unhealthy foods are marketed to kids can prevent you from falling prey to "pester power," a child's ability to nag parents into purchasing things they may not otherwise buy.

Learn the Facts of Marketing

Here is what you should know about food marketing to kids:

Children up to age 8 do not comprehend the persuasive intent of marketing messages and those age 4 and under cannot differentiate between regular TV programming and commercials116.

In 2006, the food industry spent more than $1.6 billion on marketing to youth, including $900 million in marketing aimed directly at children younger than 12 years and designed specifically to increase positive attitudes and preferences for its products117. The majority of these ads are for unhealthy products that are high in calories, sugar, fat, and/or sodium116.

Children eat 45 % more snack food after watching snack food ads118.

Food marketing to kids increases:116

  • preference for advertised foods;
  • consumption of advertised foods;
  • overall calorie intake;
  • requests to parents to purchase advertised foods (known as "pester power");
  • snacking

Food advertising is associated with unhealthy diets, obesity, and poor health outcomes in children116.

Read the Disclaimer

The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Each day, children see an average of 15 TV commercials for food products — or 5,500/year — 98% of those are for foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.