May 15th, 2011

Questions about new Federal Guidelines on Kid Junk Food Ads

The Atlantic

The FTC released its long-awaited principles for food marketing to children yesterday. These are proposed principles, scheduled to apply to marketing to children ages two to 17, to go into effect by 2016. The principles are now open for comment.
Principle A: Foods marketed to children must make a meaningful contribution to healthful diets, and contain at least one of these food groups:

* fruit
* vegetable
* whole grain
* fat-free or low-fat (1-percent) milk products
* fish
* extra lean meat or poultry
* eggs
* nuts and seeds
* beans

Principle B is that the foods should minimize intake of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health or weight.  The key standards are:

* Saturated Fat: 1 g or less per serving and 15 percent or less of calories
* Trans Fat: 0 g per serving
* Added Sugars: No more than 13 g of added sugars per serving
* Sodium: No more than 210 mg per serving

I thought the original proposals were far too generous. But the only difference between these proposals and those proposed a year or so ago is a slight increase in sodium from 200 mg to 210 mg per serving. I can only assume that this difference is just enough to include a lot of junk foods that would otherwise be excluded by these principles.

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