January 27th, 2012
US guidelines on food marketing to kids stalls
By Bernice Yeung
According to a recent analysis of medical costs in the research journal Obesity, California spends an estimated $15.2 billion on obesity-related health problems each year – the most in the country.
The California Department of Public Health’s Obesity Prevention Plan seeks to reduce obesity rates among Californians, calling for strategies ranging from easing access to fruits and vegetables to building roads and sidewalks to make walking easier.
It also wants to limit children’s exposure to “unhealthy” food and beverage advertising. One in nine California kids is obese or overweight, and a disproportionate number are minority and low-income children, according to the state Department of Public Health.
But federal efforts to address the connection between obesity and food marketing to children recently stalled, when funding for a set of proposed national marketing standards became contingent on a cost-benefit analysis mandated through an appropriations bill passed in mid-December.