Food Marketing & Our Kids

Articles
December 22, 2011

Food Marketing & Our Kids

It's an old story - and frankly one that has been (and will be) debated for years to come. Just how much influence does advertising unhealthy foods effect the waistlines and general health of our youth?

It's an old story - and frankly one that has been (and will be) debated for years to come. Just how much influence does advertising "unhealthy" foods effect the waistlines and general health of our youth?

Both sides of the debate are armed with medical and psychological studies which prove THEIR point - which is why the debate continues. And the debate in Washington D.C. seems to be gaining fervor - perhaps good news and clarity on the way?

Just last week the The Federal Trade Commission announced the debate is not over yet - the organization  is taking yet another look at the "proposed" guidelines. In a published statement last Friday, Cecelia Prewett of the FTC said, “Congress has clearly changed its mind,” about the marketing guidelines and that FTC, “will be assessing its language and working toward congressional intent.”  According to the Associated Press, Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa), who led the 2009 effort to introduce the legislation to regulate the advertising, said Friday that the delay, “is a huge loss for our nation’s children, who will continue to be bombarded with ads for junk food and sugary soft drinks.”  

Earlier this year, voluntary guidelines were proposed that set maximum levels of fat, sugars and sodium. The guidelines also recommended that food companies not market any beverages or foods that exceed the maximum levels to children ages two through 17 - on television, websites, signage and even the food packages themselves (sorry Tony!).  

And most important is that at this point the suggested guidelines are voluntary…so why the debate? We at The Lempert Report believe that the lobbying against "voluntary guidelines" are sure to fast track mandatory ones. And we lose yet another opportunity to show our shoppers (and the government) that in fact we can do the right thing - without legislation.