Junk food nation: The battle surrounding youth-based advertising

McDonalds spends about $400 million annually on advertising directed at children.

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Pepperoni pizza, energy drinks, and Doritos may not sound like a meal, but some advertisers want it to sound appetizing.

That’s what health advocates, as well as the federal government, are saying about junk food advertising aimed at children ages 12 to 17. It’s no secret that America’s youth is dealing with rising numbers of obesity. The Federal Trade Commission is taking notice.

Along with the Food and Drug Administration, The Agriculture Department, and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the FTC is proposing to limit the marketing of junk food to children, though these guidelines are strictly voluntary.

In a 2006 study conducted by the FTC, 44 companies surveyed spent $1.6 billion on adverting to kids and teenagers, with $870 billion going to those under the age of 12.

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