Food Marketing Is Not the Answer to Obesity
Letters to the Editor: the Washington Examiner
While childhood obesity is a serious problem, food marketing is not the culprit. Parents are ultimately in control, and this week’s announcement that McDonald’s is offering a slimmed-down version of the Happy Meal is a great example of that fact. Apple dippers have been offered since 2004, and advertised since 2006. While 88 percent of McDonald’s customers were aware of the apple slice option, only 11 percent chose it for their children.
Personal responsibility aside, the proposed guidelines could cost 74,000 jobs in the food and advertising industries if they are handed down — hard to swallow in an economy with 9.2 percent unemployment. Better solutions would include eradicating food deserts believed to contribute to catastrophic health problems we see in underserved communities, mandatory physical education in public schools, and programs such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-childhood-obesity campaign.