thermore, the committee also recommends that the government and academic institutions work with industry to review efficacy and effectiveness research and evaluations to determine the best methods for demonstrating measurable changes in behavioral outcomes. Finally, the committee encourages NARC and the industry working group to examine the self-regulatory guidelines for marketing to children that exist in other countries, including specific commitments that are being made to address the childhood obesity epidemic, to inform its assessment and review process (FIAB, 2005; Hawkes, 2004; IOM, 2006; WFA, 2006).
The committee also recommends that FDA be given the authority to evaluate the efforts undertaken by full serve restaurants and QSRs to expand healthier food, beverage, and meal options to consumers and evaluate the effectiveness of providing nutrition labeling and general nutrition information at the point of choice on consumers’ purchasing behaviors. CDC should evaluate the effectiveness of corporate-sponsored physical activity programs, energy balance education programs, and the use of branded physical activity equipment (e.g., physical videogaming) on children’s leisure-time preferences and physical activity behaviors.
The IOM report Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity? (IOM, 2006) recommended that the federal research capacity, supported by DHHS (e.g., National Institutes of Health, CDC, FDA), the USDA, the National Science Foundation, and FCC and FTC), should be expanded to study the ways in which marketing influences children’s and adolescents’ attitudes and behaviors. Of particular importance is research related to newer promotion techniques and venues: healthier foods, 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 explanations; stronger measurement techniques; and methods with high relevance to detect changes that occur as part of daily life.
The present IOM committee concurs with this research recommendation. To support the recommendation, the committee suggests that the food retail sector, the restaurant sector, and relevant trade associations and companies collaborate with USDA and DHHS to provide data on pricing strategies, consumer food purchases, and consumption trends from proprietary retail scanner systems, household scanner panels, household consumption surveys, and marketing research. The collaborative work should examine the quality of the data, consider reducing the cost of the data to increase accessibility, and establish priorities for using the information to promote healthful diets and physical activity.
Corporate responsibility can be demonstrated by sharing marketing research findings, to the greatest extent possible, that will assist the public health sector to develop, implement, and evaluate more effective childhood