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BBB Speaks on Success of Industry Initiative at Children Now Conference

12/14/2009

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Washington, DC – December 14, 2009 - Elaine Kolish, Director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, spoke today on the success of industry self-regulation of children’s food and beverage advertising at the Children Now conference “Is Food Marketing to Children Getting Any Healthier?”.

At the conference, Kolish responded to Professor Dale Kunkel’s latest research, “The Impact of Industry Self-Regulation on the Nutritional Quality of Foods Advertised on Television to Children.”  Following is an excerpted statement from Kolish:

In his study, Professor Kunkel concludes that the participants in BBB’s Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative are complying with their commitments, which confirms our own analysis.  We also were gratified, but not surprised, to learn that the foods advertised to children by our participants are better than those being advertised by non-participants. 

We part company, however, over his conclusions about the nutritional quality of the participants’ products based on his analyses of the products according to HHS’s “Go, Slow, Whoa” food categories. These categories have considerable merit, of course, in helping consumers plan menus over the course of a week, and potentially could help Americans have healthier diets.

But, that said, these categories are a woefully inadequate way to judge whether self regulation is being effective and provide the wrong answer to the question.  “Is Food Marketing to Children Getting Any Healthier?” The answer to that question is unequivocally, YES.

To read Elaine Kolish’s full response visit: http://www.bbb.org/us/children-now-statement

For more information on the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative or to schedule an interview with Elaine Kolish, contact Alison Southwick at 703-247-9376 or asouthwick@council.bbb.org.
About the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative: The Council of Better Business Bureaus launched the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in November 2006 to shift the mix of advertising messaging directed at children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthier lifestyles. The 16 participants of the CFBAI are Burger King Corp.; Cadbury Adams USA LLC; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The Dannon Company; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Global, Inc.; Mars Snackfoods US, LLC; McDonald’s USA, LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; Post Foods, LLC; and Unilever United States. For more information about the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and to view the pledges of the participants visit: http://www.bbb.org/us/children-food-beverage-advertising-initiative.
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