Head's Up: Have Your Say About Junk Food Advertising Targeted at Our Kids

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Got something to say about junk food advertising to our kids? Well get ready.

On the heels of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?, Congress has asked The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to further investigate food and beverage marketing practices targeted at our children.

The reigning theory is that junk food advertising is one culprit to blame for the rising childhood obesity crisis. Indeed the IOM reported that "current food and beverage marketing practices puts children's long-term health at risk" and now Congress wants to go a step further. Get the FTC involved and find out what food industry is really doing to hook our kids on junk food (and junk drinks).

Here's where you come in. The FTC has asked for public comment (you again) on this issue but the deadline is December 21. Public opinion goes a long way and if you have anything to say at all do it. You can submit your comment electronically by going to their website https://secure.commentworks.com/foodmarketingpaperworkcomment/.

FTC prefers electronic comments but they are also accepting snail mail to:
Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary
Room H-135 (Annex R)
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580

If you snail mail your written comment they ask that you reference “Food Industry Marketing to Children Report: Paperwork Comment; FTC File No. P064504” on both the envelope and letter/written comment, and send them two copies.

If you read the IOM's report I think you will be appalled at what goes on in the advertising world to hook our kids and the connection to childhood obesity. I'm sure you've experienced that nagging pressure from your children to buy certain foods and drinks. That's no accident. That's exactly what food manufacturers want to happen.

Your voice is meaningful and the time is now! Good luck and let's hope this step takes us in the right direction.
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.

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