Great article in The Guardian about the ugly side of marketing to kids, excerpted from Eric Schlosser's new book "Chew on This".
Aside from going to school, American children now spend more time watching television than doing anything else except sleeping. The average British child spends two hours and 20 minutes every day watching television and 25 minutes playing video games. In the UK, more than half of children under the age of 16 have a television in their bedroom.
During the course of a year, the typical American child watches more than 40,000 TV commercials. About 20,000 of those ads are for junk food: soft drinks, sweets, breakfast cereals and fast food. That means American children now see a junk food ad every five minutes while watching TV - and see about three hours of junk food ads every week. American kids aren't learning about food in the classroom. They're being taught what to eat by the same junk food ads, repeating again and again.