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Sodas Skip Schools

Soft-Drink Makers Join Child Obesity Fight, Won't Sell Sugary Soda in Schools

Will the Fast-Food Industry Follow? continued...

"Responsible, industry-generated action and effective self-regulation are critical to addressing the national problem of childhood obesityobesity," FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said in a news release. "The FTC plans to monitor industry efforts closely, and we expect to see real improvements."

The agencies' 138-page report recommended that food industries should:

  • Make products lower in calories, more nutritious, more appealing to children, and more convenient to prepare and eat.
  • Make smaller portions, single-serving packages, and offer other packaging cues to help consumers reduce serving sizes.
  • Change labels to clearly identify lower-calorie, nutritious foods without being misleading.
  • Change the way foods are marketed to children. For example, foods marketed to kids should meet minimum nutritional standards.
  • Educate consumers about nutritionnutrition and fitness with simple and effective messages.
  • Improve the "overall nutritional profile" of food products marketed and sold in schools.

And the FTC and HHS aren't letting media companies off the hook. They recommended that media and entertainment companies:

  • Develop and disseminate simple, positive, and consistently repeated educational messages about nutrition and fitness
  • Change the way children's TV and movie characters are used to market foods, so that they promote nutritious, lower-calorie products

And the agencies suggested that the food industry police itself, including:

  • Considering having an independent nonprofit or public-health organization develop a seal or logo program to identify more nutritious, lower-calorie foods
  • Considering the appropriateness of paid product-placement of foods in movies, video games, and web sites
  • Considering what measures should be taken to punish violations of these guidelines

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