Limit junk-food ads that contribute to childhood obesity

Sara Berg
Senior Staff Writer
AMA Wire
Email this page

There are disproportionately higher rates of obesity and diet-related diseases among black and Latino youth compared to their white counterparts. Food companies disproportionally target their advertising for junk food towards black and Hispanic youth.

This exposure to food advertising increases their consumption of fast food and sugary beverages, which can contribute to high rates of obesity and diet-related diseases. Food marketing can be seen twice as much within the black and Latino youth than in non-Hispanic, according to data cited in a resolution adopted at the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Because children are unable to recognize that the advertising has persuasive intentions, it prevents the modification of their interpretation. This results in the increased consumption of nutrition poor foods.

“Children are constantly exposed to advertising for foods and beverages that are unhealthy and low in nutritional value, which can lead to increased consumption of these foods—putting them at higher risk for obesity and diet-related diseases,” said AMA Trustee Ryan J. Ribeira, MD, MPH.

“By limiting food ads targeted to children and teens, we will help reduce the amount of fast food and sugary beverages that they consume and ultimately improve health outcomes,” Dr. Ribeira said.

To address food advertising to youth, especially from vulnerable populations, the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) modified existing policy to:

  • Support legislation that limits targeted marketing of products that do not meet nutritional standards as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture when such marketing targets youth, especially vulnerable populations.

The AMA also amended its policy on sex education in schools, saying that such programs should “include culturally competent materials that are language appropriate for Limited English Proficiency pupils.”

“Comprehensive, evidence-based sex education helps promote healthy sexual relationships, lower rates of teenage pregnancy and reduce risky sexual behavior. Culturally competent sex education could reduce disparities in teenage pregnancy and HIV diagnosis rates—both of which are high in the Latino community,” said AMA Trustee Willarda V. Edwards, MD, MBA.

Read more news coverage of the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Email this page

Comments

It isn't junk food that contributes to childhood obesity. It is POVERTY. The risk of obesity and diabetes for a POOR PERSON is SIX-HUNDRED PERCENT more than a more affluent person. The problem is that a POOR PERSON CANNOT AFFORD to eat Nutrient-Dense Foods. Instead, one is forced to eat "Healthy" but affordable NON-NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS such as whole grain bread, occasionally skinless chicken breast, rice, whole grain cereals, etc. If you are poor, you can only to afford food that has HARDLY ANY NUTRITIONAL VALUE. So you have to eat more just to get the necessary nutrients. This results in obesity. So is anything being done to help people in POVERTY in the United States? No. If fact if anything, congress and the current president want to remove any help for the poor so that the rich can pay fewer taxes. If POVERTY was solved in the United States, then Obesity and Diabetes will be WIPED OUT by EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT. Think about that.
Show Comments (1)