"However I think it's very complicated. … As a consumer, as a parent, this company doing this, this company doing that, how do I hold them accountable? If they have clear rules, then you have a level playing field."
Despite the pediatricians' consensus on the negative effects of junk food advertising, they readily hold parents accountable for their children's health and diet decisions.
"Advertising does not guarantee sales. Parents have a lot more clout then they think," said Ayoob."They should not be influenced by children or advertising. An ad can be what it is, but no one is giving food for free. Parents are buying the food."
For parents, the challenge is to cut through the marketing messages to determine whether the food being offered is indeed healthy for their children.
"They can talk a good talk, but can they walk the walk? I doubt it, if it's gonna cut their profits. I think it's gonna come down to the government to set regulations," said Sherri Carlson, a mother of three who lives in Massachusetts.