Childhood Obesity, Domestic and Economic Policy, In The News, Op-Eds

Setting Industry Guidelines for Marketing Junk Food

Letters to the Editor: The New York Times

To the Editor:

Mark Bittman criticizes the food industry’s opposition to proposed interagency guidelines on marketing to children, and calls self-regulation “self-serving.” In reality, these guidelines are so overreaching that they triggered bipartisan opposition from the most divided Congress in recent history, with Republicans and Democrats sending letters to the administration urging reconsideration of the guidelines and their unintended consequences on the economy, as well as the obesity epidemic itself.

Mr. Bittman doesn’t say what most sensible adults already know: that parents are ultimately responsible for what is on their dinner table. I do agree with his brief acknowledgment, in closing, that it is best to have “grass roots movements” drive reform. One key step is eradicating food deserts in underserved and rural communities, and mandating daily physical education in public schools across the nation.

Chief Executive, Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy
Washington, Aug. 3, 2011

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