Concerned that a steady diet of TV ads is putting too many pounds on American children, the Federal Communications Commission plans to study links between the ads, viewing habits and the rise of childhood obesity.
“Small children can’t weed out the marketing messages from their favorite shows,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Wednesday at a news conference. “Especially when the marketing campaigns feature favorite TV characters like SpongeBob or Scooby-Doo.”
Martin cited reports showing the average child watches 2 to 4 hours of TV per day and views about 40,000 TV ads every year, most of them for cereal, candy, toys and fast food.
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said he urged the commission to form the task force, which will include FCC officials, members of the food, television and advertising industries, along with consumer advocacy groups and health experts.