Government should explore combining the full range of possible approaches (e.g., agricultural subsidies, taxes, legislation, regulation, federal nutrition programs) for making fruits and vegetables readily available and accessible to all children, youth, and families.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture should develop and test new strategies for promoting healthier, appealing school meals provided through the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program as well as other federal programs designed for after-school settings (Special Milk Program) and child-care settings (Child and Adult Care Food Program).
If voluntary efforts related to advertising during children’s television programming are unsuccessful in shifting the emphasis away from high-calorie and low-nutrient foods and beverages to the advertising of healthful foods and beverages, Congress should enact legislation mandating the shift on both broadcast and cable television.*
Knowledge is the bedrock of effective action and progress, yet current resources are scant to expand the knowledge base, from all sources, on the changing ways in which marketing influences the diets and health of children and youth.
Recommendation 9: The nation’s formidable research capacity should be substantially better directed to sustained, multidisciplinary work on how marketing influences the food and beverage choices of children and youth.
To implement this recommendation
The federal research capacity, in particular supported by the agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, and the Federal Trade Commission should be expanded to illuminate the ways in which marketing influences children’s attitudes and behaviors. Of particular importance are studies related to newer promotion techniques and venues, healthier foods and beverages and portion sizes, product availability, the impact of television advertising on diet and diet-related health, diverse research methods that systematically control for alternative explana-