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
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
American Beverage Association
Birds Eye Vegetables
Campbell Soup Company
Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Council of Better Business Bureaus
Food Marketing Institute
Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association
Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
National Restaurant Association
The Dannon Company
The Hershey Co.
National Association of Broadcasters
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
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
Convergence Center for Policy Resolution
Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy
Georgetown University Children’s Digital Media Center
Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
National Council of La Raza
National Parent Teacher Association
New York University Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
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