Mass General Hospital/Community Health Associates
Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts, Project No. P094513
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. As a health educator working every day on the front lines of building a healthy lifestyle among children and preventing illness, I am all too familiar with the toll that day-in and day-out marketing of unhealthful food has on children and families across the country. While the food and beverage industry pursues bigger profits, parents and other adults 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. Parents, other adults in the family, and educators can't do it all alone. Industry says they want to be part of the solution and these guidelines will help them do it. Stronger standards on foods marketed to kids will shift the balance in the right direction and send a positive message to all--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 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. After all, genuine care for and strong action on children s health and wellbeing from all of us make the biggest investment to our nation s future!