The factors contributing to overweight and obesity are multifaceted and include a combination of genetic, sociological, and environmental influences. Children's exposure to food marketing is recognized as one such factor contributing to the obesity-promoting environment. Food marketing is broadly described as communication that establishes consumer awareness and creates a desire for a product, thereby promoting commercial profit. Advertising is one specific component of this marketing process, which involves the announcement of a persuasive message, on television, in magazines, or on billboards. This entry reviews the nature and extent of food marketing directed toward children, the dietary implications of this marketing, and the public policy debate to restrict this type of marketing.

There is an accumulating body of evidence on the nature and extent of food ...

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