Perspective: A WIS Editorial - Food Advertising Laws

Here is another example of too much government.  Apparently, an interagency government task force was created last year to examine the effect that food marketing has on childhood obesity, a growing problem plaguing our nation.  They came up with voluntary guidelines that are so restrictive that even a bowl of Cheerios wouldn't pass muster, and those guidelines are currently awaiting approval by the administration.

Now my disclaimer must be made…I'm in the advertising business…but there simply is no verifiable linkage between food advertising and weight gain in children.  Academic  and industry research both confirm what common sense tells us…kids eat what their parents eat.  If you serve a big plate of fries at the dinner table, little Billy isn't going to ask for broccoli instead.  Lifestyle issues do contribute to the problem with busy families making poor health choices in their meal planning, but the bottom line is that children are eating too much and not getting enough exercise.  Restricting food advertising is a flawed approach to childhood obesity.  According to a 2007 study by the Federal Trade Commission, the exposure of youth to food advertising on television actually declined between 1977 and 2004, even as obesity soared.

We don't need more regulation…we need more nutrition awareness and better eating habits.  Get up, move, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, less processed foods.  It's not rocket science…and banning advertising for food products is not going to solve the problem.

That's my perspective.  I'd like to hear yours.