Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513
The proposal is an excellent one. Most families today are made up of working parents, either two working parents when a family has two or in the case of single parents, one working parent. After a long day, parents often don't have time to examine food choices for the best ones and their kids often suffer by eating foods that are high in sugars, trans fats and sodium. If more packaged products limited these ingredients in their recipes, it would take the burden off the parents. Additionally, fast food restaurants are very popular with working parents and children. These restaurants need to also be held accountable with what they serve. Some places, McDonald's for instance, has healthier options, but they are choices. You cannot give a child the choice of french fries or apples. How many kids, or their parents for that matter will choose the apple. Perhaps limiting the amount of fries and including some apple slices as well would work better than giving a choice between the two. It doesn't help that advertisers promote the unhealthy foods. More companies need to promote healthy foods and make them look as appealing as those not so healthy choices. School lunches is another area where children should be given healthy foods, but not choices. Asking a child to choose between a delicious green salad and a slice of pizza is a "no brainer" to many. Perhaps pizza made with whole wheat crust and some veggies on top could be available as a choice. There has to be help somewhere for working parents. None of us has the time to come home and start chopping up a lot of fresh vegetables and make them look appealing to our children. But if we, as parents, can choose healthier options when we shop, because there are healthier options, we would all benefit. There are many obese parents out there as well, so healthy foods, lower in sugar, fats and salt are good for everyone. Commercials need to stop showing the bad foods, making them look appealing, and start showing healthier options that also look delicious and make us want to eat them. And during children's TV programs, the focus should be on the healthy foods. We all know that we want what we see so our mouths should water when we look at nutritious foods, not just those things that are bad for us. Also, restaurants and fast food places should be made to limit their proportion sizes. Asking for a small drink in many places gets you a quart-size cup. Everyone is trying to give you value for your money, but it is promoting unhealthy and obese adults and children. No one needs that much to drink and no one needs to super-size anything. Your proposal is a great one and I wish you much luck with bringing it to fruition.