The Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention was established in 2008 to serve as a focal point for national and state-level policy discussions by governmental and other experts and leaders in the field and related disciplines; to provide the National Academies with strategic guidance on comprehensive work in this area by keeping abreast of emerging issues, research, and existing activities, both in the United States and internationally; and to guide the selection of focused, policy-relevant topics in childhood obesity prevention to be examined through workshops, studies, public briefings, and publications.


During the course of the 1-day workshop, themes emerged from the individual presentations that structured the subsequent discussions. Those themes are presented here as an introduction to this workshop summary. A compilation of comments made during the discussions appears in Chapter 6.

Progress Since Food Marketing to Children and
Youth: Threat or Opportunity? (Chapter 2)

•   Limited to moderate progress has been made in achieving the recommendations of the IOM’s 2006 report on food marketing and its relationship to children’s diets. (Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University)

Emerging Issues in Food Marketing (Chapter 3)

•   The emergence of integrated marketing communications, which uses a variety of vehicles and venues to deliver reinforcing messages, has created a marketing environment in which advertising is pervasive; powerful; and often disguised as entertainment, social networking, or viral marketing. (Minette Drumwright, The University of Texas at Austin)

•   Children and adolescents are particularly heavy users of social media, mobile phones, Internet videos, and advergames, all of which are being used to market foods and beverages in increasingly individualized and comprehensive ways. (Kathryn Montgomery, American University)

•   Certain types of marketing to low-income and minority communities can be pernicious, yet attempts to limit such marketing can appear to be paternalistic in that they may be seen as singling

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