New York Times, Letter to the Editor
July 30, 2010
by Hank Cardello
Limited progress has been made on establishing standards for advertising food to children. This comes as no surprise since too much emphasis has been given to micromanaging cuts in sugars and fats. This can only lead to incremental change. It’s time to reset the rules of engagement.
If we are really interested in solving childhood obesity, focus must be placed squarely on the reduction of calories. Arguing whether 8 grams of sugar in cereal is a monumental improvement over 10 grams is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Instead of shackling food corporations, it’s time to ignite those marketing machines to serve the public health. More than $15 billion a year is spent on advertising by the food industry. Let’s find ways to give food marketers incentives to allocate a portion of those dollars to better educate our children about proper nutrition and portion control.
Marketers know how to market. Let’s tap into their expertise. It will be good for our children as well as for corporate bottom lines.
Hank Cardello is a Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Obesity Solutions Initiative.
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