Public Awareness and Marketing
The food industry spends billions of dollars each year marketing products to American consumers. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as much as $10 billion per year is spent just to market food to children.
A number of large food and beverage companies, both individually and as part of larger initiatives, have recently made voluntary commitments to reduce their marketing to children, and/or sought to improve the nutritional quality of their product offerings. While these efforts are to be applauded, too many advertising messages – including those directed to children – continue to promote unhealthy foods. At the same time, research shows that many people have difficulty interpreting the health-related claims that are often used to market food, either as part of food packaging or in advertisements.