These 6 candy makers pledge to stop advertising to kids

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In a move that was praised by health advocates (and quite possibly, dentists!), six candy companies have committed to not advertise to children under age 12.

The six candy makers – including the makers of popular treats like Jelly Belly, Peeps, Mike and Ike, Welch's fruit snacks, Brach's, Ghirardelli, and Lemonheads – created the Children's Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), a self-regulatory initiative aimed at promoting responsible advertising, according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus, who partnered with the National Confectioners Association in its efforts.

The initiative is modeled after another self-regulation program known as the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), which includes 18 big food companies, several of which make candy.

"CCAI follows the same principles as CFBAI, but is designed for small-to-medium size confectionery companies and has fewer administrative requirements than CFBAI," Maureen Enright, director of CCAI and deputy director of CFBAI, explained in a statement. "All CCAI participants are making the same commitment not to engage in child-directed advertising. CFBAI will independently monitor compliance and will publish periodic compliance reports, as it does for CFBAI."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has long urged candy companies to reduce their junk food advertisements directed at children, praised the move.

"It's not appropriate to advertise candy to children. 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," said CSPI senior nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy. "We applaud the six companies for making this important commitment not to advertise to children under 12 and encourage other candy companies to join this initiative."

In spite of the CFBAI, a recent study found that children are seeing more candy ads now than in years past. Researchers found that in the three-year period from 2008 to 2011, American children's exposure to candy and treat-filled ads jumped by 74 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years.

RELATED: View Kit Kat bars from around the world

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Kit Kat candy bars from around the world
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These 6 candy makers pledge to stop advertising to kids

Bars of KitKat chocolate, produced by Nestle SA, sit on display at Nestle's headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Nestle, the world's biggest food company, forecast 2015 sales growth near the low end of its long-term target after reporting the slowest annual sales growth in five years, hit by stagnant revenue in China.

(Photo: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bags of mini KitKat confectionary, produced by Nestle SA, sit for sale inside a Dixy supermarket operated by OAO Dixy Group in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Suppliers suffering from ruble depreciation this quarter are urging retailers to increase prices.

(Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

KitKat chocolate confectionary bars, manufactured by Nestle SA, sit displayed for sale in a newsagent's store in London, U.K., on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. The cost of chocolate is set to rise, propelled by raw sugar trading at a nine-month high and this year's 60 percent increase in cocoa butter combined with the arrival of Christmas demand. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
University of Tokyo students display a large sized KitKat chocolate bar, measuring 100 x 60 x 20cm and weighing 80kg, as they encourage high school students preparing for the forthcoming entrance exminations in Tokyo on December 13, 2011. The KitKat is known as a lucky food for entrance examination in Japan as it is pronounced 'kitto katsu' in Japanese which means 'I surely win'. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
Bars of KitKat chocolates, manufactured by Nestle SA, are arranged for a photograph ahead of the company's results news conference in Vevey, Switzerland, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. Nestle SA, the world's biggest food company, reported 2011 sales growth that beat analysts' estimates and forecast higher 2012 earnings as it introduces products such as the Nescafe Alegria coffee maker. Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Four different types of Kit Kat chocolate bars. (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Bars of KitKat chocolate, produced by Nestle SA, sit arranged for a photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Dec.7, 2009. Nestle SA, the world's biggest food company, will start certifying some KitKat bars in the U.K. and Ireland as Fairtrade, following Cadbury Plc, which started producing mass-market Fairtrade chocolate this year. Photographer: Jason Adlen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bars of original KitKat chocolate, produced by Nestle SA, and without the 'Fairtrade' logo sit arranged for a photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Dec.7, 2009. Nestle SA, the world's biggest food company, will start certifying some KitKat bars in the U.K. and Ireland as Fairtrade, following Cadbury Plc, which started producing mass-market Fairtrade chocolate this year. Photographer: Jason Adlen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A General Picture of Nestle Kit Kat Easter egg
PHILADELPHIA, USA - OCTOBER 30, 2014: Kit Kat bar isolated on white. Kit Kat is a chocolate biscuit bar confection that is manufactured by Nestle
Bars of original KitKat chocolate, produced by Nestle SA, and without the 'Fairtrade' logo sit arranged for a photograph in London, U.K., on Monday, Dec.7, 2009. Nestle SA, the world's biggest food company, will start certifying some KitKat bars in the U.K. and Ireland as Fairtrade, following Cadbury Plc, which started producing mass-market Fairtrade chocolate this year. Photographer: Jason Adlen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Green Tea (Matcha) KitKats, Japanese version of popular US candy.
Kit Kat, the nations favourite, chocolate bar is soon to be on sale in a third flavour, mint. The new version called Kit Kat Mint will hit the shops on Monday and is being introduced by popular demand. Kit Kat Orange, launched a year ago generated more than 4,500 complimentary letters from consumers. Over 500 of them suggested a Kit Kat mint, although others wanted a liquorice, passion fruit or marshmallow variant. See PA Story CONSUMER KitKat
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