Originally published: May 8, 2012
Last updated: May 8, 2012 - 3:47pm
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the National Academies has recommended that the government -- state, local and national -- consider mandating common standards for marketing food and beverages to children and teens if industry has not done so within the next two years.
Currently voluntary efforts are aimed at kids under 12. "The food, beverage, restaurant and media industries should take broad, common, and urgent voluntary action to make substantial improvements in their marketing aimed directly at children and adolescents aged 2-17," said the institute in an advisory on combating obesity. It argues that "all foods" marketed to that age group should encourage avoiding calories from foods high in sugar, fat and sodium, and instead eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. "The standards set for foods and beverages marketed to children and adolescents should be widely publicized and easily available to parents and other consumers. They should cover foods and beverages marketed to children and adolescents aged 2-17 and should apply to a broad range of marketing and advertising practices, including digital marketing and the use of licensed characters and toy premiums," said the institute.
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