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An Epidemic of Obesity Myths
Myth: Food Marketing Is Making Kids Fat

"While it might seem obvious that bombarding kids with sales pitches for cartoon-character cereal and snacks contributes to the obesity epidemic among U.S. children, scientists say the hard evidence is thin."
-Reporter Betsy McKay in The Wall Street Journal, 2005

"There is only circumstantial evidence that the ads cause poor eating."
-Center for Science in the Public Interest Scientific Advisory Board member and Yale University professor Kelly D. Brownell

"Despite media claims to the contrary, there is no good evidence that advertising has a substantial influence on children's food consumption and, consequently, no reason to believe that a complete ban on advertising would have any useful impact on childhood obesity rates."
-Imperial College School of Medicine Epidemiology Professor David Ashton in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2004

"…the data seems to suggest that kids are seeing probably less advertising than they've ever seen before. Kids are watching less television and probably are exposed to less advertising than they ever have before. Certainly they are watching more DVDs and videos and certainly playing more video games. But it's not clear the extent to which food advertising is prevalent in those media. Kids are spending unquestionably more sedentary time in front of screens, like computers, DVDs, and the like, but they seem to be watching television less and being exposed to less advertising than ever before."
-Former Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Office of Policy Planning and George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki, 2005