"We can't any more argue whether food advertising is related to children's diets. It is," said Ellen Wartella, a co-author of the Institute of Medicine report reviewing "123 scientific research studies spanning 30 years on the effects of marketing food to children." The report concluded that "strong evidence" links TV ads to childhood obesity, and recommended that well-known cartoon characters not be used to sell "low-nutrient and high-calorie" foods. Marketing to children is a $11 billion industry. The American Advertising Federation responded that companies are already "promoting healthier products and active lifestyles for children." Commercial Alert called on Congress to "expel junk food from public schools, require disclosure of product placement ... and eliminate the federal tax deduction for food advertising to children." The New York Times reports that Center for Science in the Public Interest, with "veterans of successful tobacco litigation," will file a lawsuit in Massachusetts to "ban sales of sugary beverages in schools."
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