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Protect Kids from Junk Food Marketing: Your support is needed today

We're outraged. Federal guidelines that would help limit junk food marketing to kids are under attack by big food companies, and we need your help today. Parents shouldn't have to play defense in a world designed to make their kids consume unhealthy food, just so companies can make bigger profits. But we need to speak up today in support of the proposed standards or they might be dropped.

Federal guidelines released last April will, if companies follow them, ensure that foods marketed to kids contain real food ingredients including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; while limiting harmful nutrients such as sodium, added sugars and saturated fats. Though voluntary, these guidelines are an important step towards protecting kids from junk food marketing.

But the food industry has been working overtime to de-rail the guidelines, making shameful claims in their attempts to stop even voluntary recommendations. Scott Faber of the Grocery Manufacturer's Association commented, "Compliance with the standards in the proposed principles will require manufacturers to remove cherished animals, characters, and sports heroes from our packaging and dramatically reduce our support for community events and organizations such as local museums and even Little League."

At a Chamber of Commerce discussion last week, law professor Martin Redish stated, "Industry's rights are being violated here, but there's something deeper and darker that's going on: The government is treating us like sheep."

The current system of food marketing puts all the responsibility on parents to protect their kids. It's simply not fair. When food marketers have access to children in schools, in stores, on television, and increasingly on the internet, parents have the odds stacked against them. The proposed standards will help shift the balance in the right direction.

The IWG needs to know that they have our support, as public health professionals, as academics, as concerned parents. The food industry has millions of dollars to spend on defeating these guidelines, and without all of our voices, they might succeed.

Click here for a draft letter of support for the new standards. Copy the letter onto your organization's letterhead.

Then, click here to send the letter to the Interagency Working Group by pasting it into the copy materials box in the form. This will let them know that you support strong nutrition standards for foods marketed to kids.