Clearly, I'm a bit ecstatic about this week's public health news. For one, Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Tide detergents, has agreed to decrease the amount of cancer-causing 1.4-dioxin in many of its products to decrease the human potential for developing cancer. Then, PepsiCo announced that it is dropping a brominated chemical (brominated vegetable oil, a known flame retardant) from its orange Gatorade (but not other products like Mountain Dew)! And finally, a report from the Federal Trade Commission shows that advertising to children by food companies has dropped by 19.5% in 2009 from 2006.
Although I am beyond ecstatic for all the positive changes going on in the food, beverage and chemical industries, this is only a drop in the bucket towards creating a healthier, less toxic America. How are you contributing to this process? Get involved through the Environmental Working Group - www.ewg.org, Women's Voices for the Earth - www.womensvoices.org/ - or do what Sarah Kavanagh, a 15-year-old high school student from Hattiesburg, Mississippi did after reading about the toxic effects of BVO in her Gatorade - Create a petition!
Together we can implement change!
SPENDING DECLINES ON FOOD MARKETING TO CHILDREN
Total spending by food companies on marketing to children was down 19.5 percent in 2009 from 2006, according to the results of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) comprehensive study of food and beverage industry marketing expenditures and activities directed to children and teens. The study found that most of that decrease comes from less spending on television ads to youth.
At the same time, food companies stepped up their spending by 50 percent to market to children and teens using online, mobile, and viral marketing strategies. Overall, food companies allocated $1.79 billion on marketing to youth ages 2-17 in 2009.
A Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents: Follow-Up Report gauges the progress industry has made since first launching self-regulatory efforts to promote healthier food choices to kids. It serves as a follow-up to the Commission’s 2008 report on food marketing requested by Congress. Additional information and key findings about the nutritional quality of foods within the product categories most heavily marketed to children or teens is contained in the report.
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