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2011-09-14

Help the Environmental Working Group Stop Childhood Obesity

Carb-loading for the main event.
Looks like it's all muscle to me little dude.

No new study to discuss today, so want to help stop childhood obesity? If that's a YES, keep reading (if NO, I'm sure the food companies love that you'll just skip this post altogether).

Food companies spend billions on advertising targeting children - $1.6 billion in 2006 alone - and now they're objecting to voluntary US government guidelines for marketing food to children.

Major food companies are lobbying the US government to withdraw the guidelines completely and instead use the industry's own definition of "responsible advertising"...this hasn't worked in the past, and repeatedly proven they cannot self-regulate. All they care about is the bottom line. They don't care if their products make kids sick.

So the Environmental Working Group has joined forces with the Center for Science in the Public Interest to take on the food industry and tell its CEOs to stop the attacks and start helping our children. They need you to stand with them to make sure they get the message loud and clear.

Due to the alarming rates of childhood obesity, in 2009, US Congress instructed the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and Department of Agriculture to form an Interagency Working Group (IWG) to look into child-targeted advertising and recommend standards for marketing food to children under 18.

When the IWG published its draft, voluntary guidelines in April, it suggested that food companies adopt two voluntary principles, not legally enforceable by any regulatory agency, that food advertised to children should:

  • make "a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet" by containing a significant amount of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish, extra lean meat or poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds, or beans.
  • have only "minimal quantities of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health and weight," such as sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and added sugars.
These commonsense recommendations would encourage children to adopt healthy eating habits. But the goal for big food interests is an even fatter bottom line, so they're lobbying the government and calling on the IWG to throw out its voluntary proposal and use the industry's own guidelines for responsible advertising.

It only takes about 30 seconds to complete the fields in the following pre-written letter. Click HERE to send your message.


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