Pediatrician Group Issues New Recommendations on Ads, Sedation
The American Academy of Pediatricians on Monday released a new policy that recommends restrictions on advertisements for non-nutritious foods, alcohol and tobacco that target children, the AP/Washington Times reports.
The policy, which appears in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics, said that children "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" (AP/Washington Times, 12/4). According to pediatrician Victor Strasburger, senior author of the policy, AAP released the recommendations in part over concerns about increased rates of childhood obesity (Elias, USA Today, 12/4).
The policy recommends:
- A ban on ads for non-nutritious foods during television programs that target young children;
- A limit on commercial ads of no more than six minutes per hour, a 50% reduction;
- A ban on the use of cartoon characters or attractive young women in alcohol ads;
- A ban on interactive ads that target children on digital TV; and
- A ban on ads for erectile dysfunction medications during TV programs that air before 10 p.m. (AP/Washington Times, 12/4).
Strasburger said, "It's time to take the ka-ching out of childhood" (Ritter, Chicago Sun-Times, 12/4).
Adonis Hoffman, senior vice president and legal counsel of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, said, "No company wants to be taken to task for bad practices, and that is a powerful force in a highly competitive industry" (USA Today, 12/4).
Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute, 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" (AP/Washington Times, 12/4).
An abstract of the policy is available online.
In related news, AAP and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry on Monday issued guidelines that recommend physicians and dentists who sedate young children monitor them closely and have the tools and training available to act in case of emergency complications, the AP/Albany Times Union reports. The guidelines appear in the December issue of Pediatrics.
According to Stephen Wilson, a pediatric dentist who helped write the guidelines, the increased number of medical procedures performed on children outside of hospitals has increased the need for training on sedation (Johnson, AP/Albany Times Union, 12/4).
An abstract of the guidelines is available online.