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An Evaluation of Government and Industry Proposed Restrictions on Television Advertising of Breakfast Cereals to Children


  • Joshua Berning


  • Rui Huang


  • Adam Rabinowitz



In the United States, both industry and the federal government have worked to establish voluntary guidelines for how firms market food to children and to establish a threshold for the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children. The authors evaluate three US guidelines that deal with television advertising of breakfast cereals, which is both heavily advertised and a common meal item for children. They find that the majority of cereals advertised primarily to children from 2006 to 2008 do not meet any of the current and proposed self-regulatory nutrition guidelines, and that this is generally due to excessive sugar content. Further, children and adolescents are exposed to more advertising for products that do not meet the nutritional guidelines. We evaluate the extent to which each of the guidelines impacts advertising of cereals that are most viewed by children and purchased by households with children. The results provide insight for policy makers concerned with limiting the extent to which children see television advertising and ultimately consume unhealthy breakfast cereals. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Berning & Rui Huang & Adam Rabinowitz, 2014. "An Evaluation of Government and Industry Proposed Restrictions on Television Advertising of Breakfast Cereals to Children," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 507-525, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:37:y:2014:i:4:p:507-525
    DOI: 10.1007/s10603-013-9233-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andreyeva, Tatiana & Kelly, Inas Rashad & Harris, Jennifer L., 2011. "Exposure to food advertising on television: Associations with children's fast food and soft drink consumption and obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-233, July.
    2. M. Grubb, 2003. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 189-190, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berning, Joshua P., 2014. "The Effect of Breakfast Cereal Coupons on the Nutritional Quality of Household Purchases," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 17(A), pages 1-20, March.


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