BOX 7-1
Broad Conclusions

  • Along with many other intersecting factors, food and beverage marketing influences the diets and health prospects of children and youth.

  • Food and beverage marketing practices geared to children and youth are out of balance with healthful diets, and contribute to an environment that puts their health at risk.

  • Food and beverage companies, restaurants, and marketers have underutilized potential to devote creativity and resources to develop and promote food, beverages, and meals that support healthful diets for children and youth.

  • Achieving healthful diets for children and youth will require sustained, multisectoral, and integrated efforts that include industry leadership and initiative.

  • Public policy programs and incentives do not currently have the support or authority to address many of the current and emerging marketing practices that influence the diets of children and youth.

Overall, the committee identified five broad conclusions (Box 7-1), derived from the individual findings. These serve as the basis for the committee’s recommendations.


Health-related behaviors such as eating habits and physical activity patterns develop early in life and often extend into adulthood. A healthful and balanced diet provides recommended amounts of nutrients and other food components to promote normal growth and development, reduce chronic disease risk, and foster appropriate energy balance and a healthy weight. In order to develop eating habits that will have health-promoting benefits that carry them into adulthood, children and adolescents need to consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products, and moderate their intakes of high-calorie and low-nutrient foods and beverages. The committee’s review in Chapter 2 of the health, diet, and eating patterns of children and youth identified several issues and trends.

  • More certain determinations of nutritional requirements for children and adolescents await the development of better techniques and data sets.

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