Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Food's Self-Regulation is a Sham

Last week I briefly discussed McDonald's blatant public relations ploy of reformulating Happy Meals. Many described the change as a small step in the right direction, but does anyone really think McDonald's—even after seven million small steps—will be offering grass-fed beef and organic potatoes anytime this millennium?

Mark Bittman, in today's New York Times, further discusses Big Food's attempt at self-regulation, via industry-supported groups with names such as Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and The Sensible Food Policy Coalition. The whole project is a sham and we should all know that we are guinea pigs in Big Food's attempt to keep profits flowing.

Writes Bittman:
"Self-regulation may be immediate, non-threatening and magical, but it doesn’t work. A study published earlier this week in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine by Dr. Lisa Powell and other researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago tracked changes in exposure for all food, beverage and restaurant TV ads seen by kids from 2 to 11 years old, from 2003 to 2009. It found that, overall, daily exposure to the ads declined but the percentage among companies that had pledged to self-regulate was higher than those that didn’t. And in 2009, 86 percent of these ads still featured unhealthy foods."
Click here to read "Can Big Food Regulate Itself? Fat Chance."

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