The aim of this work is to provide a picture about the problem of childhood obesity and its relationship with mass media and food advertising. Examining scientific literature, we de-scribed the epidemiology of obesity focusing on its increase in children and young people. In particular, it will be examined the effects of television advertising addressed to children, in or-der to explain how it operates and affects children’s food choices. Finally, we will provide information about health promotion and prevention strategies to fight obesity both in European Union (EU) and in Italy. For the EU strategies, we considered the ‘Action Plane on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020’. In the case of Italy we focused our attention primarily on SIAN (Servizio Igiene degli Alimenti e della Nutrizione) that operate through the local health authori-ties of the various Italian regions, to promote health. Moreover, we considered the actions that have taken place to reduce the influence of mass media and food advertising on the food habits of children.
Keywords: Obesità; infanzia; mass media; sanità pubblica; telemarketing; cibo spazzatura.