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Many Foods Marketed to Children Don't Meet Nutrition Guidelines

53 percent of products advertised do not meet Interagency Working Group's recommendations

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of the food and beverage products marketed to children do not meet the federal Interagency Working Group's nutrition recommendations, according to a study published April 23 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Rebecca M. Schermbeck, M.P.H., R.D., and Lisa M. Powell, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, compared the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative's April 2014 list of food and beverage products approved to be advertised on children's television programs with the federal Interagency Working Group's nutrition recommendations. The authors assessed nutrition information on the basis of the nutrients to limit component of the Interagency Working Group's recommendations (saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium).

The researchers found that 53 percent of the 407 listed products did not meet the Interagency Working Group's nutrition recommendations. The most common nutrient to limit that was not met among the listed products was sugar (32 percent). Ninety-nine percent of products met the recommendations for trans fat.

"We recommend continued monitoring of child-directed marketing by public health researchers and that the public encourage the food and beverage industry to market their healthiest products to young consumers," the authors write.

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