Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513
I doubt that FDA regulation of food advertising to kids will have much impact-In order to effect any significant changes, the PARENTS must be educated as well, & ads for junk food which focus on adults (ie a Burger King ad that promoted burgers for breakfast & featured a husband/wife, no children). Advertising often promotes high fat/calorie foods such as toaster pastries & cold cereals as "a nutritious breakfast to start your kids' day right". The last generation who actively cooked from scratch at home is now in their 70-80's. Most of us in our 50-60's learned to cook, but often use packaged meals or fast foods as a convenience when we return from a long day at work. The adults in their 40's & below often never learned to cook 'from scratch', and think a home cooked meal is one from the frozen food section which is microwaved at home' a cake mix is a home baked cake. The average family in this area eats out at fast food restaurants an average of 4 nights per week, adults heading for work get donuts or some other fasr food drive-through meal for breakfast, and a similar meal for lunch. The advertising industry and our hurried lifestyles have convinced Americans that junk food is healthy, and young adults do not even realize they are over-feeding themselves & their kids to death. The candy in the supermarkets often contains labeling such as "fat free!", subliminally cueing consumers to regard these items as 'healthy'. Supermarkets contain more prepackaged, chemically treated foods than fresh foods. Even the fresh vegetables have some waxy substance on them to retard spoilage. The way stores are organized also promotes impulse purchases of candy and other non-nutritious foods. Candy at the check-out is an example-candies are often brightly colored & packaged in ways that research has shown is appealing to kids of various ages. Both kids & adults are subjected to the temptation of these "goodies" while they wait on check-out lines. Unless the FDA can put the candy & junk food manufactureres out of business, and stop the TV ads for food, this is not a fixable situation. The average adult cannot tell you what constitutes healthy eating, they cannot give examples of low fat, low calorie foods. Their kids know even less. Any consumer education must be directed at the parents, and must be very basic- telling them that low calorie, low fat foods are healthier will not teach them which foods these are, or how to prepare fresh foods. In addition to food, exercise must be emphasized. Again the advertising & toy/game industry & TV viewing are likely to be a more powerful force than education on health.