Report Card on Food Marketing to Kids

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) — the non-profit group that led the fight against trans fats — released a new report evaluating the efforts and policies of food and beverage manufacturers, chain restaurants, and entertainment companies that market food to children.

The report largely gave the 128 companies analyzed failing grades, primarily because so few companies actually have specific policies to guide their marketing efforts.

We couldn’t agree more that the food and entertainment industries need to step up their self-regulatory efforts to only promote to children foods and beverage that meet stringent and defined nutrition criteria.

But we also think that many of the companies deserve more praise than they’ve received. As nutrition communicators, we had the opportunity to work with Burger King Corporation in 2007-2008 in developing its policies limiting its food marketing to children efforts — and we were consistently impressed with the senior-level commitment, time and financial resources that the corporation dedicated to making positive changes in its marketing practices.

Sure, the food and entertainment industries have a long way to go.  And we’re eager for them to get there. But we also think it’s important to give kudos for how far many companies have come over the past four years. We hope they keep it up.

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