Know Your FACTS

The Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score (FACTS) was developed in 2009 to document the nutritional quality and marketing of cereals to children. The first study found that the least healthy breakfast cereals are those most frequently and aggressively marketed directly to children as young as age two. General Mills and Kellogg led in child-targeted marketing, in spite of their participation in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), the food industry’s self-regulatory program.

Since Cereal FACTS was first published, cereal companies have promised to do more, including improving the nutritional profile of cereals advertised to children and expanding CFBAI advertising requirements.

But have these changes improved the food marketing environment that surrounds children?

Three years later – using the same methods as the original Cereal FACTS – this report quantifies changes in the nutritional quality of children’s cereals and children’s exposure to marketing by cereal companies.

Cereal FACTS was developed based on the best available science, in consultation with a steering committee of experts in nutrition, marketing, and public health. To learn more about the science behind Cereal FACTS visit the Researchers page and consult the Cereal FACTS Report and Cereal FACTS Report Summary. For a summary of nutrition and marketing findings for cereal companies and brands consult the FACTS sheets. To explore the study findings with rankings and search tools see the Consumers page.

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