U.S. proposes companies to stop marketing unhealthy food to kids
WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. government on Thursday proposed new guidelines against advertising unhealthy food products to children in an effort to combat child obesity, which is currently the most serious health crisis facing the nation’s youth.
With one in three U.S. children overweight or obese – and even higher rates among some racial and ethnic groups – the proposed voluntary principles are designed to encourage stronger and more meaningful self-regulation by the food industry and to support parents’ efforts to get their kids to eat healthier foods.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration joint proposal recommends the food industry to market products that provide “a meaningful contribution to a healthy diet” for children and adolescents, ages 2 to 17.
The guidelines, which were asked to be followed within the upcoming five years, suggests products containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and lean protein, such as fish, lean meat and poultry, should be marketed to kids. Other products encouraged to be marketed were eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Furthermore, the proposal also urged the food industry to stop marketing junk food to kids, such as sugary cereals and fast-food meals, as they contain high levels of saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium, which could have strong repercussions on the children’s health, as well as their future lifestyles.
The Interagency Working Group of federal nutrition, health, and marketing experts will make final recommendations in a report to Congress after 45 days of public comment, but it is not a proposed government regulation.