The American Academy of Pediatrics blames inappropriate advertising to be the cause of most of kids ailments and urges the government to impose bans and restrictions on advertising to teens and children.
Victor Strasburger, the University of New Mexico's Doctor and the lead author of the guidelines, says 'Young people view more than 40,000 ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the internet, in magazines, and in schools.'
'These pervasive ads influence kids to demand poor food choices leading to obesity, to think drinking is cool, sex is a recreational activity and anorexia is fashionable,' the academy says.
The statement attacks alcohol ads that feature cartoon characters, fast-food ads on educational TV shown in schools; magazine ads with stick-thin models and toy and other product 'tie-ins' between popular movie characters and fast-food restaurants.
The academy suggests that the federal agencies should ban junk-food ads during shows aimed at young children, limit commercial advertising to 6 minutes per hour, insist that only the product is shown and not cartoon characters or attractive young women in alcohol ads and restrict TV ads for erectile dysfunction drugs be shown only after 10 p.m.
Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute, an industry group for breweries, said 'The American Academy of Pediatrics is wrong to blame alcohol advertising for the actions of underage teens who willingly break the law to drink illegally.'
The academy points out that several Western countries, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Greece, limit ads directed at children.