“The nation’s largest food and beverage companies spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products to children [ages 2-17], according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Tuesday,” reports the Washington Post. About 200 million of that went to cross-promotional campaigns using films, TV shows, video games. “The Internet–though far less costly than television–has become a major marketing tool of food companies that target children and adolescents, with more than two-thirds of the 44 companies reporting online, youth-directed activities,” the report said. The FTC recommended that media companies license their characters to healthier food and drinks and that food and beverage marketers expand their efforts to educate kids about healthy choices. Lawmakers sought the study because of concerns about growing childhood obesity rates. Read the FTC report here.