AAF Government Report

September 30, 2011

Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President – Government Affairs

Groups Weigh In on Marketing Guidelines

The Interagency Working Group’s so-called voluntary nutritional guidelines for marketing food to children continue to be the subject of intense debate. The Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy released a report that concludes there is no empirical evidence that the advertising guidelines would help lower obesity rates. The report predicts that should the guidelines be adopted a number of negative outcomes can be expected, including an increase in food prices due to the cost of reformulating food. The price increases will disproportionally impact low-income and minority families. The report also forecasts job losses in agriculture, manufacturing and marketing should the guidelines be implemented.

A group of 75 academics in nutrition and public health have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to support the IWG guidelines. The letter claims that food marketing works since if affects children’s food choices, but it does not offer any evidence of a link to obesity.

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