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Food [Day] For Thought



We’re sure most Inside Track readers already have heard about Food Day, the big nationwide event on Monday encouraging Americans to push for healthy, sustainable and affordable food. There are six main goals of Food Day — and one of the big pushes is right up’s alley.
Goal No. 5 is “Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing aimed at kids.” could not agree more with this message. 
As Food Day organizers write on the event’s official website, companies use a lot of different tactics in marketing to young people, and most of what they market isn’t very healthy — even products they claim are good for you. Food Day founder Michael Jacobson echoed this idea in an address at the National Press Club in Washington on Wednesday.
"When you pull back the bright packaging and look back in the kitchen and find out where the food comes from, it's a very different story," says Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, adding that such marketing is effecting kids' health.
"There are all these health problems that start in childhood. And what do we see? We see major companies, the General Mills, the Kellogg's, and so on, marketing junk to kids," he said.
That’s exactly why more than 26,400 Leaders and Supporters have written to 17 big-name food and beverage companies asking that they agree to follow principles for marketing to kids put forth by the federal government. The reasonable government principles urge companies to market only healthy goods and stop advertising unhealthy products to our kids.
In response, the 17 companies — which include Coca-Cola, McDonalds, General Mills and Mars — have put forth their own guidelines for marketing to kids. But these are much weaker than the commonsense federal principles. They can do better, and should agree to follow the federal principles.
There are many ways you can take part in Food Day on Oct. 24, including by finding a local event in your community. But you can also stand up for our children’s health by writing to the 17 companies and urging them to follow the food marketing principles introduced by the federal government. 
If you’ve already done so, be sure to tell a friend to join us and write to the companies, and be sure to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.