Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513 #00294

Submission Number:
Deirdre Boling
Initiative Name:
Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513
Dear Secretary Vilsack, Chairman Leibowitz, Director Frieden, and Commissioner Hamburg: Thank you for your efforts through the Interagency Working Group (IWG) to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children. I am in strong support of uniform food marketing standards that will prioritize children's health, support parents, and catalyze industry to take greater responsibility for marketing strategies. I work for a school of public health, and the job of public health professionals in this country would be made easier if our food industry were better regulated. As a parent, I'm confronted daily with the utter barrage of food marketing designed to countermand the healthy food environment that I try to maintain for my child. While the food and beverage industry pursues bigger profits, parents are expected to play defense in a world where food marketers have access to children in schools, in stores, on television, and online -- a world designed to make their kids consume junk food. And it's entirely unnecessary. Parents can't do it all alone. Industry says they want to be part of the solution and these guidelines will help them do it. Strong standards on foods marketed to kids will help shift the balance in the right direction--towards the health of children and families. I agree with IWG's requirement that foods marketed to children contain real-food ingredients like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while limiting harmful nutrients such as ARTIFICIAL DYES, sodium, added sugar and saturated fat. I also strongly support the IWG's comprehensive view of marketing to children, covering the wide range of approaches companies use, including online and digital mechanisms. I thank the IWG for its strong nutrition and marketing guidelines, and urge you to finalize them by the end of the year. The health of America's children hangs in the balance, and I urge you not to bow to industry pressure when the stakes are so high. In fact, I would like to see the scope of this group expanded and the guidelines to be not only strengthened but also given the force of law. While I understand the impacts of law-driven guidelines (costs, impact to industry), I need only to look into the eyes of my child to know how vitally important such changes are needed. We do not need junk on our children's plates. Eating healthy food and balanced meals should one day be as easy and natural as getting dye-infused, character-driven candy and super-sized whoppers is today. Sincerely, Dee Boling New Orleans