October 12th, 2011
“Self-Regulation is Working” head of BBB Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative to tell
Better Business Bureau
The food and beverage industry has done a good job regulating itself when it comes to advertising aimed at children, and is continuing to formulate changes that make “voluntary government restrictions” unnecessary, according to Elaine D. Kolish, Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and Director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI). Kolish will testify tomorrow at a joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and the Subcommittee on Health.
“CFBAI is changing the landscape of child-directed food advertising in observable and meaningful ways,” says Kolish. “Our participants are committed to combating childhood obesity by restricting their child-directed advertising to healthier foods…or not engaging in such advertising at all.”
Kolish’s written testimony notes that the industry has voluntarily shifted the emphasis of their advertising to children to foods “that are substantially lower in total calories, lower in fats, salt, and added sugars, and higher in nutrient content,” which follows recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2006.
“CFBAI’s new category-specific uniform nutrition criteria will further improve the foods in child-directed advertising and make self regulation work even better,” Kolish will tell the subcommittees. The new criteria build on the successes of company-specific criteria, but with additional advantages. “The new criteria will require the participants to change almost one third of the products they currently advertise to children ─ products that already meet meaningful nutrition standards ─ if they wish to continue advertising them after these criteria go into effect on December 31, 2013.”
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