America's Obesity Crisis:Food Ads: Kill the Messenger?

If you can't pry those SpongeBob Cheez-It crackers from your kid's hands, you're not alone. Public-health advocates say food advertising aimed at children has spun out of control--infiltrating schools, sports arenas, the Web and, of course, TV, where it has become ubiquitous, thanks to the explosion of 24/7 children's programming on cable and satellite. Killing the messenger won't cure the childhood-obesity epidemic, experts agree. But calls are rising for the Feds to crack down, as a growing body of research suggests that all this advertising is doing a terrific job of whetting kids' appetite for fatty, salty and sugary fare and...

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