WASHINGTON - April 28, 2011 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) welcomed new proposed guidelines to encourage companies to make the foods they market to kids healthier announced today by the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children.  The Working Group was created by a measure Harkin authored in 2009 directing the Federal Trade Commission to establish the group and charge them with developing a set of principles to guide industry efforts to improve the nutritional profile of foods marketed directly to children ages 2 to 17 years.  Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds health and wellness efforts.

"I commend the interagency working group and all of the representatives from the FTC, CDC, USDA and FDA for devising these proposed guidelines on food marketing to kids.  These guidelines make the healthy choice the easy choice, and they take an important step in the fight against childhood obesity - a fight we cannot afford to lose as a nation.

"On a daily basis, kids across the country are barraged with ads for junk foods and it is long past time that we put some limits on the advertising of these unhealthy foods.  Armed with these guidelines, it is now my hope that companies will voluntarily abide by them and work to implement them as soon as possible.  Our kids' health cannot wait," Harkin said.

Harkin is a longtime champion of food policy and wellness initiatives, fighting for fresh and healthy school lunches, disclosure of nutritional facts in chain restaurants, and food assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).


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