Every year food and soft drink marketers spend billions of dollars tempting children with junk, fueling an obesity crisis that’s already reached epidemic proportions.
Why aren’t policymakers stepping in to help protect our kids? In part because food and media companies are successfully using the First Amendment as a shield.
But new research paves the way for government to take action to protect children from junk food marketing, building a strong case to establish that much of this advertising falls outside the scope of First Amendment protection.
The controversy over whether government has the right to regulate food marketing to kids came to a head last summer, after a group of federal agencies proposed a set of voluntary recommendations suggesting how food companies could market to kids more responsibly. Food, entertainment and advertising lobbyists launched a massive campaign to derail the recommendations, arguing that the First Amendment protects industry from any government action involving food marketing to children.