More than 75% of food-related television ads that kids see promote high-calorie, unhealthy foods and drinks, according to a UConn Rudd Center study published in June. While exposure to such ads has generally declined since a 2007 self-regulation initiative aimed at reducing advertising of unhealthy food targeting kids, children are still seeing many more ads for candy, sugary drinks and fast-food restaurants than they are for healthy foods. This study looked only at television advertising.

With kids spending more time on apps and other nontelevision media, they are likely to be exposed to even more junk food ads. Junk food marketing is a well-known contributor to childhood obesity.

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD

"Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician, registered dietitian and health coach. She practices general pediatrics with a focus on healthy family routines, nutrition, physical activity and behavior change in North County, San Diego. She also serves as the senior advisor for healthcare solutions at the American Council on Exercise. Natalie is the author of five books and is committed to helping every child and family thrive. She is a strong advocate for systems and communities that support prevention and wellness across the lifespan, beginning at 9 months of age."

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