We would like to correct an inadvertent error that we made in the original version of this alert, sent on December 21, 2011. Based on updated information, Kool-Aid is NOT on the list of items that food companies deem acceptable to advertise to children. Popsicles and Cocoa Puffs, however, are on the list of items that would pass the ‘test’ of food industry standards. We apologize for our error.
Kids’ Health Can’t Wait: Don’t let food companies derail sensible food marketing guidelines for kids
What “foods” do big food companies think are good for kids to eat? Popsicles and Cocoa Puffs made the list, and food companies are using major lobbying muscle—spending over $37 million dollars in 2011—to keep them there. In a troubling move late last week on Capitol Hill, a coalition of food companies snuck language into the house appropriations bill to sideline federal recommendations that would have promoted healthy foods for kids instead of those loaded with sugar, salt and fat.
Tell the government: our kids’ health can’t wait—we need strong recommendations that protect kids, and we need them now.
Food companies can’t refute the science: evidence was the basis for the sensible, voluntary guidelines put forward by four federal agencies that make up the Interagency Working Group (IWG). And evidence also made it clear that food and beverage companies are not up to monitoring themselves. Prevention Institute’s two-minute video, We’re Not Buying It, and studies Claiming Health and Where’s the Fruit clearly reveal the deceptive lengths that food industries will go to in order to promote unhealthy foods to kids—from packaging that misleads parents to ads that target kids to behind-the-scenes lobbying to thwart any oversight.
The initial IWG recommendations protected kids under 18 by allowing only nutritious foods to be advertised during kids programs, at school events and on kids’ internet sites—and limited the marketing of unhealthy foods like sugar-loaded cereals and high-fat snacks to parents and adults. Food companies could have chosen to follow the voluntary guidelines, and would have been taking a huge step to support the health of our kids. Instead they chose to put profits ahead of kids.
Tell the President and the heads of the IWG: Families across the country need their pledge to make sure these sensible recommendations move forward. Our kids’ health can’t wait.