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GMA: More Than Two-Thirds of the Advertisements Seen by Children and Teens Today Promote More Nutritious Foods and Healthy Lifestyles

GMA Press Contact

Roger Lowe / Brian Kennedy

office: 202-295-3954 / 202-639-5994

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today issued the following statement from GMA Vice President of Federal Affairs Scott Faber in response to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Report Card on Food Marketing to Kids:

“Obesity is one of the nation’s most serious public health challenges, and our industry has significantly changed the way we develop and market our products to provide more healthy choices and to help consumers build a healthy diet. We all have a role to play – the public sector, private industry, and parents – if we are going to reduce the number of overweight and obese children in America.

“The food and beverage industry has already changed the recipes of more than 10,000 products to reduce calories, sugar, sodium, and fat. We are working with experts at FDA and USDA to design new labels that make information about calories and nutrition facts clearer for busy parents. And, we have changed the way we advertise our products during children’s programming. Because our industry has applied nutrition standards to our advertising seen during children’s programming, two-thirds of advertisements viewed on children’s programming now feature healthy food and active lifestyles.”

As food and beverage marketers have reduced and shifted the mix of products advertised to children (2-11 yrs) and teens (12-17 yrs), a recent Georgetown Economic Services (“GES”) study found that children are seeing fewer food, beverage and restaurant ads on television. Between 2004 and 2008:

-Advertisements for food, beverages and restaurants during children’s programming fell by 31 percent

-Children viewed many more advertisements for healthy choices and significantly fewer advertisements for snacks.

-Advertisements for soups, fruits and vegetables rose dramatically

-Advertisements for snacks fell by 60 percent

-Advertisements for cookies fell by 82 percent

“Everyone has a role to play, including government, if we are going to meet First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of ending childhood obesity within a generation. We look forward to continuing to work with the First Lady, the Obama Administration and Congress to help all Americans build and maintain a healthy diet.”