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IOM Workshop Reviews Progress on Food Marketing to Kids

Nov 07, 2012

The Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention hosted on Monday a public workshop on "New Challenges and Opportunities in Food Marketing to Children and Youth." Held in Washington, D.C. and available as a webcast, the workshop explored the challenges and opportunities for action on food and beverage marketing that targets children and teens.

Approximately 15 speakers discussed emerging issues and practices in the current food marketing environment, innovations in industry practice and emerging policy initiatives and communication strategies. The agenda is available here.

According to Michelle Matto, IDFA's consultant on nutrition and labeling, the panelists paid special attention to the effects of marketing on adolescents, in addition to children 12 and younger. They also reviewed trends in new areas of marketing, particularly social media. 

Representatives from the Food Marketing Institute and the Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative highlighted several positive actions that the food industry has taken over the past few years. Participating companies, including some IDFA members, for example, pledged to tailor the advertising of foods and beverages to children to target healthier options. The CFBAI introduced new uniform nutrition criteria for advertising food directly to children under 12 that will go into effect no later than December 31, 2013.

"Although the panel members acknowledged that moderate changes had been made in the food industry, they expressed a desire for more action in all sectors, including the food industry, media groups, trade associations and government, to reduce the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and adolescents," Matto said.

Matto will provide more details about the workshop conversation and recommendations in a future Nutrition Notes blog post. The committee also plans to release a report with a summary of the workshop, but no release date was given.

For more information, contact Matto at amfoodnutrition@gmail.com

To follow discussions from the workshop on Twitter, use the hashtag #IOMfoodmarketing.

 
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