Battle over food marketing restrictions heats up

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"I applaud the Administration's work to address childhood obesity," the form letter reads. "However, for that work to be successful, it must address unhealthy food marketing to children. While a number of factors contribute to obesity and children's poor diets, food marketing plays a key role. There is a lot of food marketing to kids and too much of it is for unhealthy foods."

Critics say the guidelines are the wrong approach.

"Nearly everyone agrees that childhood obesity is a very serious problem in our country. However, allegedly 'voluntary' guidelines designed by government regulators to 'protect children from junk food marketing' will not get us one step closer to solving this epidemic," said Michelle Bernard, the founder of the free-market Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. "The smart government approach would be to provide private enterprise with incentives to increase access to healthy and affordable foods in underserved communities and educate all Americans about the importance of balanced nutrition."