Food fight

The Center for Science in the Public Interest sparked a rash of publicity by publishing guidelines for responsible food marketing to children. CSPI proposed basic nutrition thresholds for determining which foods should be marketed to children, as well as curbing certain marketing techniques.

Foods would need to provide some positive nutritional benefit and not be too high in saturated and trans fat, salt or added sugars. The guidelines also call for foods marketed to children to be in reasonable portion sizes. Many of the common marketing techniques, such as use of cartoon or fictional characters and advertising on kid-oriented programs, would be discouraged if not banned.

GMA responded by saying that “food and beverage marketers are committed to responsible marketing, especially when it comes to children.” The industry is doing its part, GMA said, by offering a variety of smaller package sizes and supporting enhanced nutrition labeling.

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