Submission Number: 07785
Received: 7/14/2011 9:57:39 AM
Commenter: Matt Mitterko
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts; Project No. P094513
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As someone who viewed significant quantities of food advertising as a child, as well as being a new parent, I strongly support greater limits on advertising food products to children. As a person responsible for a young child's life, who doesn't have the option to filter out misleading or inappropriate information, it is the responsibility of anyone influencing the eating decisions and habits of children, which includes parents and family as well as the FTC and food producers, to properly look out for all of the nation's children, and their interests.
This requires that we provide accurate and clear information on food that is marketed to children, but also that we limit marketing of foods that aren't part of a balanced diet. As most foods that are advertised on television are processed foods, and therefore contain a large number of the nutrients that Principle B claims should be limited in a child's diet, then food marketing of all processed foods should be restricted, for all of our children's health, and to protect their ability to learn how to select healthy foods for themselves, without the undue influence of food marketing, which is driven for profit motives, rather than to promote good healthy eating habits.
One other concern about the proposed principles is that they do not include any incentive or interest in marketing whole foods (e.g. apples, asparagus, milk, cheese, broccoli, rhubarb, etc) to children. National associations that represent food producers of whole foods should be provided equal opportunity to advertise their produce to children, as fruit and vegetables in particular, meet both principles, but do not have a fair and represented interest in advertising to children. Ultimately, I do not think advertisers should be able to sway children's eating decisions simply because they can pay for the advertising time, but if advertisers are allowed to do so, we should ensure it's as easy as possible to present an accurate picture of what a healthy diet is.