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Candy makers took a big step to boost children's nutrition Wednesday with their pledge not to advertise to kids under 12. According to Consumerist, the National Confectioners Association, in partnership with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, announced Ferrara Candy Company, Just Born Quality Confections, Jelly Belly Candy Company, Ghirardelli, the Promotion in Motion Companies, and R.M. Palmer Company are taking part in a new self-regulatory initiative that promises to refrain from engaging in marketing that is geared toward children and pre-teens.

Titled the Children's Confection Advertising Initiative, it will be overseen by the Better Business Bureau and the National Confectioners Association. Mary E. Power, president and chief executive officer of the BBB, said in a statement, "This latest initiative is yet another example of how responsible companies can join together to efficiently regulate themselves." The move was praised by many in the nutrition world, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A CSPI spokesperson said in a statement, "Children are susceptible to advertising and don't need encouragement to like and eat candy, which promotes diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and other health problems."

As part of the pledge, these six candy companies —€” responsible for creating popular sweet treats such as Mike and Ike, Jelly Belly, and Welch's Fruit Snacks —€” will not advertise their products in any schools that include grades pre-kindergarten through sixth. They will join six other companies —€” American Licorice Company, the Hershey Company, Ferrero USA, Mars, Incorporated, Nestlé, and Mondelez International — that are already participants in the CFBAI and have also pledged not to advertise directly to children.

Confectionary brands are joining other food companies that are taking steps to create a healthier relationship between consumers and the food they eat. After first vowing to stop using artificial ingredients by the end of last year, Nestlé followed it up by pledging to use only cage-free eggs by 2020. Mars quickly followed in Nestlé's footsteps and promised to eliminate all artificial colors from its products.

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