A government report suggests that companies are willing to shell out huge sums to pay for all those food and drink commercials targeting children.
The Federal Trade Commission report counts about 1.6 billion dollars spent by the nation's largest food and beverage companies in 2006 on marketing to children and teens. Of that, about a third was dedicated to selling soda.
Lawmakers worried about the growing childhood obesity rates asked for the FTC report. Senator Tom Harkin says the study means the industry should shift focus to selling children on healthy foods.
Spending on soda marketing came to nearly half a billion dollars, with the vast majority of it directed toward adolescents. For cereals, companies spent about 237 million with the vast majority of that amount targeted to children under age 12.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)