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Originally published January 27 2010

Food industry continues to market junk food to children

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) A study conducted by Children Now, a California-based child advocacy group, has been released that indicts the food industry for continuing to market unhealthy food to children. Despite many food companies' expressed willingness in years prior to self-regulate themselves and shift their advertising efforts towards more healthy fare, little change has been seen.

In 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IM) made recommendations to the food industry to reform their marketing strategies towards promoting more healthy, nutritious food rather than junk food. In 2007, the U.S. Council of Better Business Bureaus launched the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, an effort aimed at meeting the IM recommendations. Over 12 of the nation's largest food producers agreed to cooperate in changing their advertising strategies.

The current study found that despite their promises, the food industry has generally failed to adopt any of the primary recommendations. Advertisements continue to entice children with nutritionally-deficient foods that are attractive to them, often trying to pass their products off as healthy when they are not.

Dr. Dale Kunkel, the author of the study, has concluded based on years of research that the marketing of junk food is a substantial contributor to childhood obesity. More than 72 percent of television food advertisements aimed at children today are for food products in the worst nutritional category. Only one percent of all advertising is for truly healthy foods.

Prior to 2005 when the initiative began, 84 percent of television ads were for food products in the worst nutritional category, representing a 14-percent drop since that time. Dr. Kunkel sees this as too little and is hoping that Congressional intervention will be the next step.

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Let's be straight about this: Any nation that wanted to protect the health of its children would flat-out ban the marketing of junk food to children.

The junk food corporations, of course, now claim "free speech" rights thanks to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively grants corporations the same free speech rights as individuals. So now we're going to be overrun by "free speech" advertisements for junk food, targeted to children and infants in order to hook them on processed junk foods.

Corporations should be stripped of such rights. The corporatocracy cannot be allowed to poison our children with more toxic junk foods and sodas laced with chemical sweeteners.

The United States of America is supposed to be a nation of the People, by the People and for the People... not for the corporations!

Any nation that raises its children on junk foods has no real future. Sadly, that now seems to include the United States of America.

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