Kraft Foods Group, McDonalds, Northwestern at Michelle Obama’s White House Conference on Selling Foods to Kids

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SHARE Kraft Foods Group, McDonalds, Northwestern at Michelle Obama’s White House Conference on Selling Foods to Kids

WASHINGTON–First Lady Michelle Obama is using her bully pulpit to pressure food manufacturers and their ad makers at a White House conference on Wednesday to put more focus on selling healthy options to kids–and not junk. If anyone can get kids to eat their vegetables, “it’s you,” Mrs. Obama told the group. Among the “stakeholders” at the conference are representatives from Kraft Foods Group, headquartered in Northfield; McDonalds, based in Oak Brook and Northwestern University, with its main campus in Evanston. WATCH IT LIVE HERE.

Below, from the White House…

White House Convening on Food Marketing to Children


September 18, 2013


A key focus of the Let’s Move! initiative is to make the healthy choice the easy choice for American families. Marketing and other sources of information can make it easier for families to make healthier choices, or act as a barrier to better choices. Today’s White House Convening on Food Marketing to Children brings together a wide range of leaders working on this issue–from experts, advocates, and parents to food, beverage, media and entertainment companies to identify opportunities for action that ensure marketing supports the health of kids and families.

Goals of the convening:

The goals of the convening are to create a collaborative dialogue that leads to real results around:

•Leveraging the power of marketing for healthier products, including using children’s characters to promote healthy choices and shifting marketing efforts towards promoting healthier products; and

•Ensuring that children are not targeted with marketing of unhealthy products.


•While progress has been made across industries to recognize the role that food and beverage marketing plays in driving the childhood obesity epidemic, American children are still exposed to a disproportionate amount of marketing for unhealthy products across a variety of media.

•The food and beverage industry spends approximately $2 billion per year marketing to children. The fast food industry alone spends more than $5 million every day marketing unhealthy foods to children.

•The average kid sees thousands of food advertisements each year – on TV and digital media channels – and 86% of these ads are for products loaded with sugar, fat or salt. Kids who see foods advertised are significantly more likely to ask for them at the store.

•By contrast, kids see an average of just one ad a week for healthy products like water, fruits and vegetables.

•Food marketing is one of the important family-based contributors to racially disparate rates of childhood overweight and obesity. African-American and Hispanic children are exposed to more food advertisements as compared to white children and the majority of these ads are for soda and junk food.

Today’s convening includes key stakeholders from the food and media industry, advocate and parent communities, government agencies and researcher institutions, including representatives from:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Domestic Policy Council

Federal Trade Commission

Let’s Move!

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

American Beverage Association

Birds Eye Vegetables

Bolthouse Farms

Burger King

Campbell Soup Company

Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative


ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Council of Better Business Bureaus

Dr. Pepper/Snapple


Food Marketing Institute

General Mills

Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association


Kraft Foods Group, Inc.

Mars, Inc.



National Restaurant Association

Nestle USA


Post Foods


Taco Bell

The Dannon Company

The Hershey Co.




Cartoon Network


National Association of Broadcasters


Sesame Street

Super Sprowtz


Time Warner, Inc.



American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association of School Administrators

American Cancer Society

American Heart Association

American University Department of Marketing

Association of National Advertisers

Business Forward

Boston Common Asset Management

Center for Digital Democracy

Center for Science and the Public Interest

Center on Media and Child Health, Children’s Hospital Boston

ChildObesity180/Tufts University

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy

Georgetown University Children’s Digital Media Center

Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation

Hudson Group

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility


Mocha Moms



National Council of La Raza

National Parent Teacher Association

New York University Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health

Northwestern University

Partnership for a Healthier America

Pew Research Center

Produce for Better Health Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University

Saint Joseph’s University Department of Food Marketing

Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley Media Studies Group

University of Minnesota, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

University of Pennsylvania Center for Public Health Initiatives

University of Vermont

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