The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has released a new brief updating its annual report on trends in TV food advertising to young people. Documenting changes “in the total number of food-related TV ads viewed by children and adolescents from 2002 to 2013,” the brief concludes that despite the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), “the total number of food and beverage ads viewed by children has increased by 8% and advertising to adolescents increased 25% since 2007.”

Although youth exposure to food-related TV ads apparently peaked in 2004, Rudd Center alleges that the number of food- and beverage-related TV ads viewed by children younger than age 12 has only increased since companies adopted CFBAI in 2007. According to the brief, TV ads for fast-food restaurants represented 23 percent of food-related ads viewed by children and 28 percent of ads viewed by adolescents in 2013. In addition to fast food-related ads, children and adolescents purportedly viewed the most TV commercials for cereals, candy, other types of restaurants, prepared meals, and beverages. Among other trends, Rudd Center noted that exposure to ads for crackers and savory snacks “increased by over 50% for children and adolescents from 2011 to 2014, continuing increases in advertising to children from 2004.”

“[Y]ouths saw more ads for candy, carbonated beverages and fast food in 2013 than 2007, while ads for healthy product categories represented less than 5% of food ads viewed,” opines the brief. “These findings demonstrate that industry self-regulation has not resulted in meaningful improvements in TV food advertising to youth.”