Government Steps Up Attack on Fatty Foods Marketed to Kids

The Federal Trade Commission has made good on threats to limit how fatty and salt-laden foods are marketed - particularly to children. That spells bad news for a number of large American companies, including McDonald's (MCD) to Yum (YUM) to Kraft (KFT).

On Thursday, the FTC announced it was seeking input on proposed voluntary principles for marketing food to children. In a press release, the agency stated that "In an effort to combat childhood obesity – the most serious health crisis facing today's youth – a working group of four federal agencies" released for public comment "a set of proposed voluntary principles that can be used by industry as a guide for marketing food to children."

The key word is "voluntary." Fast food and food manufacturers may find pressure to change the way they market their products is so severe that they have little choice.

Government data says that cookies, cakes, pizza, soda, energy and sports drinks are the top sources of calories in the diets of children 2 through 18. Meanwhile, chips and french fries comprise half of all the vegetables kids eat.

The debate may eventually pit two principles against one another. The first is the question of what freedom companies should continue to have to market products and what rights people will have to buy those products even if they can create long-term harm. The government's regulation of the tobacco industry shows that it can have a powerful say in the advertising of "dangerous" products if it says it can. And, that is the other side of the issue of principles. Can the government impose its will on companies that it believes sell dangerous products?

The government's plans may be overreaching. But as long as the FTC and its sister agencies continue to claim that "childhood obesity is the nation's most serious health threat," food companies face a tough battle ahead.


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thomasva6

more propaganda nonsense. if our government really cared about the children there would be seatbelts on school buses.

May 04 2011 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason

IF YOUY GUYS THANKS BUSH WAS SO GREAT ,YOUR ASLO DUMP TRAILER PARK COC HEADS, DRUNKS LIKE HE WAS.HE WAS THE DUMBEST PRESIDENT WE HAD.

May 02 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
basscat58

Hey tell Fat Ass Michelle to back off the food cops! How did she get her rather larger than life figure! You Dem's need to understand that we don't need another mother!

May 02 2011 at 12:08 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to basscat58's comment
wfreeberg

Some do need another mother; especially those like you that can not communicate. The sound of your comments lead me to believe your mother failed misurably in training you.

May 03 2011 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dterraman

oh thank you gov man, save me from myself

May 01 2011 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mrspelosi

The Obama administration should be more concerned about their reckless spending.

May 01 2011 at 6:32 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
elkhartbiker

Just another example of the federal government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. Cripe!! Is there no end to their involvement? They already tell us what kind of light bulbs we can use, who we must hire and who we must rent to. I'm waiting for the day when we have a cabinet level post in the government in charge of filling pot holes in South Dakota.

May 01 2011 at 3:58 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
darinw40@mail.com

Why don't you step up attacks on corporations and individuals making more than 150K / yr who do not pay Taxes?...there is where you should be concentrating your efforts...what a pos government we have

May 01 2011 at 2:47 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to darinw40@mail.com's comment
basscat58

Hey Dumb Ass they pay most of the US taxes! You 47% dead beaks contribute Nothing but Cost! Rot in Hell!

May 02 2011 at 12:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
parthenon1

Here we go again...It' not the Feds job in fact it isn't even the States job it is the parents responsibility. So want extra fat kids let the government get involved with high$ programs that do the opposite of what is planned. They now have the Schools which should be local communities responsibility answering to the county who answers to the State. No where is the Fed needed. The schools should also be given the power to control the students. If a parent objects to their darling being paddled in front of the class then paddle the parents. A teacher recently told me she called a mother of a 5th grade student to discuss the childs inability to read the most basic books. Instead of being sympathetic and concerned the parent retorted " He is going to be the next great NFL Super star he can hire someone to read for him" Duh...what about getting passing grades in College? Well, I guess some of the super power football schools would get him through it. No wonder Communism or Socialism looks so good to the kids today it sounds like their school work, they wont have to do any thing just collect their money every month...
until they run out of other peoples money.

April 30 2011 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to parthenon1's comment
wfreeberg

No it's not the feds right; but then again, should the fed be responsible for the child's healthcare if the child grows up overweight?

May 01 2011 at 7:22 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
gtheel

Huffing Paint far left Nazi's have taken over AOL.

April 30 2011 at 9:24 AM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
tklinecrew2

Ok TWO problems..... 1) The federal government should be telling me what I can and cannot allow my kids to eat? And 2) Isn't it interesting that since Huffington became involved, AOL now censors comments?

April 30 2011 at 1:29 AM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tklinecrew2's comment
elkhartbiker

The worse thing to happen to the news business in recent times was the take over of alo by the Puffington Huffington Post run by that liberal left-wing hag Arina Huffington. The next thing they will do is censure and omit any replies that do not meet their criteria for "political correctness." This is exactly the way Hitler started out.

May 01 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply