Press Release

Center for Consumer Freedom Asks: “Where’s the Proof?”

Washington, DC – Despite its claim to be the most exhaustive examination of marketing and the diets of children, today’s study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) failed to find a causal link between television advertisements and childhood obesity. Incredibly it is the study itself that suggests: “current evidence is not sufficient to arrive at any finding about a causal relationship from television advertising to adiposity [excess weight] among children and youth.” Translation: “We have no proof for our position.”

“It’s the height of chutzpah to call for sweeping federal regulations on marketing without having evidence to prove that advertisements cause childhood obesity,” said Center for Consumer Freedom analyst Justin Wilson. “This is just another feel good solution that won’t make any difference.”

The study failed to address whether a lack of physical activity played a role in increasing childhood obesity rates. But earlier this year, a study in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet concluded that: “These results suggest that habitual activity plays an important role in [adolescent] weight gain, with no parallel evidence that energy intake had a similar role.”

“While the IOM clamors for federal restrictions on advertising to children, the true culprit for childhood obesity—physical inactivity—is completely ignored,” continued Wilson. “According to the Department of Health and Human Services, ‘more than a third of young people in grades 9-12 do not regularly engage in vigorous physical activity.’ If we are serious about fighting obesity among our children, we need to get them seriously active.”

A new book relying on sound science by the Center for Consumer Freedom titled An Epidemic of Obesity Myths explores these and many other myths in the obesity debate.

To obtain a copy of An Epidemic of Obesity Myths, visit or call Andrew Porter at (202) 463-7112.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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