Kids Health - Marketing Food To Children

Kids Health - Marketing Food To Children

Tue 24 Jan 2012

Story by The Food Revolution Team & CSPI

At the end of last year, we reported on how healthy food marketing guidelines were at risk due to yet more lobbying.

In 2009, Congress directed several federal agencies to form the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Food Marketed to Children, with the goal of developing voluntary guidelines for companies that market food to children aged 2 to 17 years.

Having reviewed food and beverage marketing to kids, the IWG last year proposed a strong set of guidelines based on both nutrition and what marketing should be covered.

The proposed guidelines aim to help tackle childhood obesity by having the industry market to children only foods and drinks that contribute to a healthful diet and limit sodium, fats and added sugars. Foods that do not meet the guidelines could not be advertised to children.

However, food and beverage industries and media companies have been lobbying government in order try and prevent the issuance of these guidelines. Congress has not succumbed to this lobbing but has since asked for an additional examination of the guidelines, directing the IWG to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before completing the voluntary food marketing guidelines for kids.

While a number of companies have taken steps to address junk-food marketing to kids, there is still much work to be done as the lopsided balance of food marketing to children has not changed enough. Industry needs advice in order to improve standards and bring them in line with current nutrition science as many sugary cereals, salty white flour pastas, and other unhealthy foods are considered healthful enough to market to kids under even industry's new standards.

The non-profit Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have prepared an action alert to allow you to urge President Obama and his administration to swiftly prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the IWG voluntary guidelines, which are already one and a half years overdue, and release them as early as possible in 2012.

Your support is needed!

Join the CSPI and ask government to stand up to junk-food marketers and stand beside parents in order help counteract the influence of food marketing to children. Send your letter to government and urge President Obama and his administration to ensure the release of strong marketing guidelines to kids as soon as possible.

Find out more about the IWG guidelines by watching this video.

The Food Revolution Team & CSPI

Centre For Science In The Public Interest


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