Know Your FACTS
The Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score (FACTS) was developed to scientifically measure food marketing to youth. While young people are exposed to marketing for a variety of food products, fast food was chosen to be evaluated using FACTS because it is the most unhealthy food product marketed to children, other than sugar-sweetened beverages. Fast food is marketed aggressively and relentlessly to children and the amount of money fast food companies spend on youth-targeted marketing exceeds $300 million per year. This has become a serious concern due to the considerable role fast food plays in the diets of young people.
Food marketing to children negatively influences children's dietary intake and contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic. This public health issue was recently recognized in the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity and in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization. Since this recognition, the majority of fast food restaurants have introduced more nutritious options and most are required to post calories on their menu boards. McDonald's and Burger King joined the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) and pledged to advertise only "better-for-you" choices to children. Such food industry efforts to self-regulate have been criticized for lenient nutrition standards and failure to fully implement stated goals. Fast Food FACTS was designed to evaluate whether these food industry changes will reverse the unhealthy defaults that exist in the current fast food marketing environment and highlight the changes that are necessary to help reduce obesity in children.
Fast Food FACTS was developed based on the best available science, in consultation with a steering committee of experts in nutrition, marketing, and public health. To explore the study findings with rankings and search tools see the Consumers page. To learn more about the science behind Fast Food FACTS visit the Researchers page and consult the report.
Fast Food FACTS Report
Fast Food FACTS Report Summary
Fast Food FACTS Report Summary Spanish