The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood as a way to stop childhood obesity, threatened a lawsuit against Kellogg and Nickelodeon for marketing junk food to children. They claim that children are vulnerable to slick advertising. Their campaign against sugared cereals resulted in Kellogg's announcement that it would stop using licensed characters for marketing unless the food in question meets certain nutrition requirements for sugar, fat and calories.
They're completely missing the mark. The fault lies not in sugared cereals but in the parent who purchases and serves those cereals. Children are not influenced to buy the items that are advertised in commercials, they are influenced to want them. It is up to the parents to decide whether or not they are good for the children. Most parents are afraid to say, "no" to their children. You see it in their eating habits and their behavior.
The problems of childhood obesity will not go away until parents start setting rules for their children. Here are some ways parents can help their kids, (1) Stop buying all the junk food, if it's not in the house, the kids won't eat it, (2) Start encouraging the kids to play instead of sitting in front of the TV. I know that kids can't have the same freedom we had as children, there are more risks now, but, maybe if parents walked their children to school or friends' houses, that would encourage exercise.
Parents are in charge, not the kids. Parents are the adults and make the decisions on what foods to buy and prepare. Stop letting others make those decisions.