to children and shape discourse is needed to develop allies, said Dietz. Children are subject to forces they do not understand and about which they have not been taught to think critically. In addition, the focus of an educational campaign needs to extend beyond food. Young children can name more beers than American presidents. MomsRising and Saludable are good examples of how to link awareness with strategies for change, Dietz said.
Kelly Brownell, James Rowland Angell professor of psychology, professor of epidemiology and public health, and director of the Rudd Center at Yale University, questioned how media literacy efforts can be carried out well enough to counteract what industry is doing. Furthermore, media literacy initiatives can have the effect of letting industry off the hook by suggesting that both sides are being heard. Safeguarding the public health does not mean exposing people to a toxic substance and then giving them the skills to counteract it. The better approach would be to eliminate the toxic influence in the first place, Brownell suggested.
Kolish, who worked at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) before coming to CFBAI, said self-regulation works better than outside regulation in the food arena. She pointed out that the FTC is not eager to issue regulations in such a complex area. Rather, it supports good self-regulation, which it defines as actions that are independent, accountable, and transparent. Kolish noted that companies have different capacities to change, which makes a one-size-fits-all regulation unwieldy. Also, she believes, when companies participate in setting expectations, compliance is better than is the case with government regulation.
The marketing environment will continue to change, said Joseph Thompson, surgeon general, State of Arkansas, and director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In particular, the way in which children get information will be different in the future. Mass marketing is giving way to multilevel, individually tailored, electronically immediate messaging. Thompson suggested that research, evaluation, and surveillance will be necessary to keep pace with this transformation.
Brownell noted that research has produced impressive documentation of the amount of food advertising seen by children and adolescents, even though the technologies being used by the industry remain ahead of the research. When all means of marketing are combined, however, unhealthy foods are being marketed to children even more intensively, and the least healthy foods are being marked the most aggressively. Self-regulation has not produced enough progress, Brownell continued. Industry takes self-