PDF Version

NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: May 10th, 2002

Commercial Alert, Groups Urge HHS Sec. Thompson to Support WHO Effort to Fight Junk Food Marketing, Prevent Obesity, Diabetes

Commercial Alert and a coalition of consumer and public health organizations and advocates sent a letter today to Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services, asking him to support a World Health Organization initiative to curtail the marketing of junk food, and prevent obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  The letter follows.

May 10, 2002

The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson
Secretary of Health and Human Services
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20201
Via telecopier (202) 690-7203

RE: Joint WHO/FAO draft report onDiet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Dear Secretary Thompson:

We are writing to urge you to support the joint World Health Organization (WHO)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) draft report and recommendations on “Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease.” The draft report was issued on April 26, 2002.

As you know, United States citizens and people around the world are suffering and dying from alarming rates of advertising-related and diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and stroke.  These diseases are frequently worsened by the marketing and consumption of too much high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie junk food and foods of low nutritional value, and the lack of physical exercise.

The joint WHO/FAO report encourages countries to adopt policies to reduce the health toll of these chronic diseases. Such policies include advertising restrictions, adequate food labeling, promotion of physical exercise, increased nutritional education and restrictions on marketing of junk food to schoolchildren.

The joint WHO/FAO draft report and policy recommendations will help lessen the chronic disease burden both in the United States and across the world.  It deserves your strongest support.

Sincerely,

Peter Barnes, Co-founder, Working Assets
Charles Bell, Programs Director, Consumers Union
Stephen Bezruchka, MD, MPH, Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington
Kelly Brownell, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Yale University; Director, Yale Center For Eating & Weight Disorders
Brita Butler-Wall, PhD, Executive Director, Citizens’ Campaign for Commercial-Free Schools
California Public Health Association – North
Joan Claybrook, President, Public Citizen
Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association
Donald R. Davis, PhD, Research Associate in Nutrition, Biochemical Institute, University of Texas
Montgomery Elmer, MD, President, Fox Valley Physicians For Social Responsibility
Leon Eisenberg, MD, Professor of Social Medicine Emeritus, Harvard Medical School
Cathey Falvo, MD, Program Director, International & Public Health, School of Public Health, New York Medical College
Mike Feinstein, Mayor, City of Santa MonicaGreen Party of the United States
Joan Gussow, EdD, M. S. Rose Professor Emeritus, Nutrition and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
R. Scott Hanson, MD, MPH, President, Rhode Island Public Health Association
Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Carden Johnston, MD, Chair, Task Force on Commercialism in the Classroom, Alabama Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Timothy J. Kasser, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Knox College
Dennis Keeney, Emeritus Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University
Michael Kieschnick, President, Working Assets
Ronald M. Krauss, MD, Senior Scientist, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Adjunct Professor of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
Velma LaPoint, PhD, Associate Professor of Human Development, Howard University
Diane Levin, PhD, Professor of Education, Wheelock College
Jane Levine, EdD, Founder, Kids Can Make A Difference
Susan Linn, EdD, Associate Director, Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, Chief of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
William J. McCarthy, PhD, Adj. Associate Professor of Psychology, UCLA
Bob McCannon, Executive Director, New Mexico Media Literacy Project
Robert McChesney, PhD, Research Professor, Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; author, Rich Media, Poor Democracy
Mary Anne Mercer, DrPH, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Mark Crispin Miller, PhD, Professor of Media Ecology, New York University
Diane M. Morrison, PhD, Research Professor & Associate Dean for Research, University of Washington School of Social Work
Ralph Nader
Marion Nestle, Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University; author, Food Politics
Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher, Mothering Magazine
Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles
Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Sheldon Rampton, Editor, http://WWW.PRWATCH.ORG
John Rensenbrink, U. S. Representative, Global Green Network
Kyle Richmond, Supervisor, Dane County Board, District 27, Madison, WI
Mark Ritchie, President, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Dick Roy, Executive Director, Northwest Earth Institute
Gary Ruskin, Executive Director, Commercial Alert
John Stauber, Executive Director, Center for Media & Democracy
Michael Traub, ND, President, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Susan Villani, MD, Medical Director, Schools Programs, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University
Geoffrey Wilkinson, Executive Director, Massachusetts Public Health Association

cc: The Honorable Kevin E. Moley, Permanent Representative of the US to the European Union Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations
Jack Chow, MD, U. S. Department of State
William R. Steiger, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
Derek Yach, MD, World Health Organization
Ann Blackwood, U. S. Department of State
David Fleming, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Eve Slater, MD, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
Bob Wood, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
David Hohman, U. S. Mission, Geneva
James Heiby, MD, U. S. Agency for International Development

PDF Version

NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: May 10th, 2002

Commercial Alert, Groups Urge HHS Sec. Thompson to Support WHO Effort to Fight Junk Food Marketing, Prevent Obesity, Diabetes

Commercial Alert and a coalition of consumer and public health organizations and advocates sent a letter today to Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services, asking him to support a World Health Organization initiative to curtail the marketing of junk food, and prevent obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  The letter follows.

May 10, 2002

The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson
Secretary of Health and Human Services
U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20201
Via telecopier (202) 690-7203

RE: Joint WHO/FAO draft report onDiet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Dear Secretary Thompson:

We are writing to urge you to support the joint World Health Organization (WHO)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) draft report and recommendations on “Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease.” The draft report was issued on April 26, 2002.

As you know, United States citizens and people around the world are suffering and dying from alarming rates of advertising-related and diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and stroke.  These diseases are frequently worsened by the marketing and consumption of too much high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie junk food and foods of low nutritional value, and the lack of physical exercise.

The joint WHO/FAO report encourages countries to adopt policies to reduce the health toll of these chronic diseases. Such policies include advertising restrictions, adequate food labeling, promotion of physical exercise, increased nutritional education and restrictions on marketing of junk food to schoolchildren.

The joint WHO/FAO draft report and policy recommendations will help lessen the chronic disease burden both in the United States and across the world.  It deserves your strongest support.

Sincerely,

Peter Barnes, Co-founder, Working Assets
Charles Bell, Programs Director, Consumers Union
Stephen Bezruchka, MD, MPH, Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington
Kelly Brownell, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Yale University; Director, Yale Center For Eating & Weight Disorders
Brita Butler-Wall, PhD, Executive Director, Citizens’ Campaign for Commercial-Free Schools
California Public Health Association – North
Joan Claybrook, President, Public Citizen
Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association
Donald R. Davis, PhD, Research Associate in Nutrition, Biochemical Institute, University of Texas
Montgomery Elmer, MD, President, Fox Valley Physicians For Social Responsibility
Leon Eisenberg, MD, Professor of Social Medicine Emeritus, Harvard Medical School
Cathey Falvo, MD, Program Director, International & Public Health, School of Public Health, New York Medical College
Mike Feinstein, Mayor, City of Santa MonicaGreen Party of the United States
Joan Gussow, EdD, M. S. Rose Professor Emeritus, Nutrition and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
R. Scott Hanson, MD, MPH, President, Rhode Island Public Health Association
Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Carden Johnston, MD, Chair, Task Force on Commercialism in the Classroom, Alabama Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Timothy J. Kasser, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Knox College
Dennis Keeney, Emeritus Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University
Michael Kieschnick, President, Working Assets
Ronald M. Krauss, MD, Senior Scientist, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Adjunct Professor of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
Velma LaPoint, PhD, Associate Professor of Human Development, Howard University
Diane Levin, PhD, Professor of Education, Wheelock College
Jane Levine, EdD, Founder, Kids Can Make A Difference
Susan Linn, EdD, Associate Director, Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, Chief of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
William J. McCarthy, PhD, Adj. Associate Professor of Psychology, UCLA
Bob McCannon, Executive Director, New Mexico Media Literacy Project
Robert McChesney, PhD, Research Professor, Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; author, Rich Media, Poor Democracy
Mary Anne Mercer, DrPH, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Mark Crispin Miller, PhD, Professor of Media Ecology, New York University
Diane M. Morrison, PhD, Research Professor & Associate Dean for Research, University of Washington School of Social Work
Ralph Nader
Marion Nestle, Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University; author, Food Politics
Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher, Mothering Magazine
Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles
Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Sheldon Rampton, Editor, http://WWW.PRWATCH.ORG
John Rensenbrink, U. S. Representative, Global Green Network
Kyle Richmond, Supervisor, Dane County Board, District 27, Madison, WI
Mark Ritchie, President, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Dick Roy, Executive Director, Northwest Earth Institute
Gary Ruskin, Executive Director, Commercial Alert
John Stauber, Executive Director, Center for Media & Democracy
Michael Traub, ND, President, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Susan Villani, MD, Medical Director, Schools Programs, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University
Geoffrey Wilkinson, Executive Director, Massachusetts Public Health Association

cc: The Honorable Kevin E. Moley, Permanent Representative of the US to the European Union Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations
Jack Chow, MD, U. S. Department of State
William R. Steiger, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
Derek Yach, MD, World Health Organization
Ann Blackwood, U. S. Department of State
David Fleming, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Eve Slater, MD, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
Bob Wood, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
David Hohman, U. S. Mission, Geneva
James Heiby, MD, U. S. Agency for International Development