GMA back at you

Responding to the Center for Science in the Public Interest's (CSPI) Report Card on Food Marketing to Kids and the obesity challenge, Scott Faber, vice president of federal affairs, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C., issued a statement pointing out “two-thirds of advertisements viewed on children’s programming now feature healthy food and active lifestyles.”

“The food and beverage industry has already changed the recipes of more than 10,000 products to reduce calories, sugar, sodium, and fat,” he adds. “We are working with experts at FDA and USDA to design new labels that make information about calories and nutrition facts clearer for busy parents. And, we have changed the way we advertise our products during children’s programming. Because our industry has applied nutrition standards to our advertising seen during children’s programming."

,As food and beverage marketers have reduced and shifted the mix of products advertised to children (2-11 yrs) and teens (12-17 yrs), a recent Georgetown Economic Services (“GES”) study found that children are seeing fewer food, beverage and restaurant ads on television. Between 2004 and 2008: Advertisements for food, beverages and restaurants during children’s programming fell by 31 percent; children viewed many more advertisements for healthy choices and significantly fewer advertisements for snacks; advertisements for soups, fruits and vegetables rose dramatically; advertisements for snacks fell by 60 percent; and advertisements for cookies fell by 82 percent.

“Everyone has a role to play, including government, if we are going to meet First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of ending childhood obesity within a generation," said Faber. "We look forward to continuing to work with the First Lady, the Obama Administration and Congress to help all Americans build and maintain a healthy diet.”