195603 Food marketing report card: An analysis of industry's policies on food marketing to children

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:30 AM

Ameena Batada, DrPH , Nutrition Policy Department, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC
Margo G. Wootan, DSc , Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC
Food marketing influences children's food preferences, purchase requests, diets, and health. Historically, the vast majority of foods marketed to youth have been of poor nutritional quality, troubling parents, health professionals and, more recently, policy makers. In 2005, a National Academies of Sciences' expert committee recommended that companies shift their marketing mix to healthier foods, like water. Over the past four years, many food, restaurant, and entertainment companies have developed policies on food marketing to children, which address the media covered by their policies and usually include nutrition standards for the foods they will and will not market to children. The policies and nutrition standards vary greatly, however, causing confusion over what and how much the policies cover and raising concerns about the meaningfulness of the policies. The Food Marketing Report Card is a cross-sectional analysis of top food, restaurant, and media companies' policies on food marketing to children. Companies without policies receive a grade of “F”. Among companies with policies on food marketing to children, no companies receive an “A”. Most companies receive a “C” or “D” grade because of gaps, such as not covering on-package marketing or weak school-based marketing policies, or because of weaknesses in the nutrition standards, such as allowing too much sodium or sugars in qualifying foods. This presentation will identify the strengths and weaknesses of companies' policies, and will outline policy recommendations for companies, trade groups, and government to reduce the marketing of foods of poor nutritional quality to children.

Learning Objectives:
Identify food, restaurant, and media companies with and without policies on food marketing to children Describe the strengths and weaknesses of companies’ food marketing policies Discuss policy options to address the gaps in companies’ food marketing policies

Keywords: Child Health, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Nutrition and work on food marketing to kids policy
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.