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Advisory: Food Industry Pledge to Market Only Healthy Foods to Children


The pledge Wednesday by a group of major food companies to market only healthy foods to children may have little effect on the diet of the nation’s children, says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Brownell said research is likely to show that a very small amount of overall television programming will meet the industries’ criterion that 50 percent of the audience is younger than 12. “The majority of a child’s marketing exposure comes from programs where young children are not the predominant audience,” he said. Brownell said the second issue is the industries’ definition of foods acceptable to market to children.

He called for an independent review of the impact of the industry plan on marketing to children and on their diets. “This is a small, but positive, step to protect children from a tidal wave of messages to eat foods high in sugar, fat and salt,” Brownell said. “The danger is that the progress stops here and that the public and legislators feel the industry has fully discharged its civic responsibility.”


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