Federal efforts to address the impact of food marketing on children began more than thirty years ago, when the Federal Trade Commission sought comment on strategies to reduce young children’s exposure to food advertising. The food, advertising, and television industries mounted a virulent response, and Congress withdrew the commission’s authority to regulate unfair advertising to children. The same industries and Congress responded equally aggressively to the proposed nutrition criteria for food products marketed to children drafted by a working group of federal agencies in 2011. Although federal efforts over the past thirty years have led to modest improvements in food quality and marketing practices, commercial interests have consistently overridden the health concerns of children. Mobilization of parents as a political force to improve standards for food marketed to children, use of social media for counteradvertising, and the development of new technologies to decrease exposure to food advertisements could reduce the impact of food marketing to children.