Education A National Roundup

Pediatricians’ Group Faults Ads as Teaching Unhealthy Behavior

By Ann Bradley — December 12, 2006 1 min read

The American Academy of Pediatrics last week issued a revised policy statement outlining what it views as the harmful effects on children and adolescents of television advertising, saying it may contribute significantly to obesity, poor nutrition, and the use of cigarettes and alcohol among young people.

In the statement, which appears in the December issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed journal of the academy, the doctors’ group outlines recommendations to mitigate advertising’s effects on children, including teaching them to be “media literate.”

The statement notes that advertisements for birth control, which could lower teenage pregnancy rates, are rare on prime-time television but that ads for erectile dysfunction are “abundant” on network television. It calls for confining the latter to after 10 p.m.

It also recommends that pediatricians work with parents, schools, community groups and others to ban or curtail school-based advertising in all forms.

A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2006 edition of Education Week