US efforts to limit marketing of unhealthy food to children are delayed

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 11 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3340
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The food industry is using delaying tactics to prevent the publication of guidance that would limit the marketing of unhealthy foods to children by 2016, an advocacy group has claimed.

The draft guidance recommends that food marketed to children and teenagers aged 2-17 “should provide a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet” and “should be formulated to minimize the content of nutrition that could have a negative impact on health or weight.”1 It would apply to advertising, social media, and all other forms of promotion.

The guidelines were created by an intergovernmental working group of federal government agencies responsible for trade, agriculture, and health with the “goal of improving children’s diets and addressing the high rates of childhood obesity.” The starting point was an Institute of Medicine report issued in December 2005. …

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