Does your four-year old love their “kid’s” cereal? Unfortunately, companies may be changing their recipes. For those of you who are out of the loop, recently the government (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration) has proposed a change in guidelines regarding the marketing of food to children. These new guidelines would require food companies to market products with healthier ingredients and would give suggested nutrition guidelines limiting things like fat and sodium as part of a healthy daily allowance. We, as a society, are on a major health kick and it seems to be carrying over into every aspect of our lives.
The government is alarmed with the growing rate of child obesity (understandable, it is a disheartening reality), and now the pressure of taking an action on the matter has reached the steps of food companies and advertising/marketing agencies. NACS Online says that the recommendations ask “companies [to] “encourage children to choose foods that make meaningful contributions to a healthful diet from food groups including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, fish, extra-lean meat and poultry, eggs, nuts or seeds, and beans” in their ads and commercials.”
Now these are just guidelines meaning they are voluntary and not yet final, but I have a feeling that the finality will come soon enough. The executive vice-president of government Relations for the Association of National Advertisers was quoted saying, “If companies were to comply with these proposals, the restrictions are sufficiently onerous that they would basically block a substantial amount of advertising”. In recent years, many food and beverage companies have made adjustments to comply with these changing guidelines. Ideally, all parties involved—food, marketing, advertising and government regulatory agencies—can continue to collaborate on these issues.
As we call know, time will tell how these issues will evolve and take shape.