Advertisers and marketers are using sophisticated techniques and research to take advantage of childish naivity and insecurities to sell their products. In consequence, children are getting fatter, more insecure and more materialistic.
The American Academy of Pediatrics found that children's media use "has been associated with obesity, sleep issues, aggressive behaviors, and attention issues in preschool- and school-aged children".
In 2000 a US Federal Trade Commission investigation with access to internal industry memos found that the entertainment industry was guilty of “pervasive and aggressive marketing” to children of violent entertainment including age-restricted movies and video games. “The target marketing of R-rated films, explicitly-labeled music, and M-rated games to children under 17 is pervasive, and the target marketing of PG-13 rated films and T-rated games to children under 12 is common”.
The American Academy of Pediatrics noted in 1999: “More than 1000 scientific studies and reviews conclude that significant exposure to media violence increases the risk of aggressive behavior in certain children and adolescents, desensitizes them to violence, and makes them believe that the world is a ‘meaner and scarier’ place than it is.” However the FTC declined to regulate the industry but instead recommended self-regulation. Commercial Alert responded: “Once again, parents see a system that shows more concern for the corporations that prey on children, than for children themselves”.