|Received:||6/8/2005 4:58:03 PM|
|Organization:||Health Education Council|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Food Marketing to Kids Workshop|
|Docket ID:||To Be Added|
Comments:To Whom It May Concern: I am very concerned about the amount of advertising and marketing of "foods of minimal nutritional value" (FMNV) being directed at young children. The practice of promoting FMNV products to children, especially during an epidemic of childhood obesity, is unethical. Young children are not cognitively able to distinguish “fact” from “opinion” or influence in the media, and therefore should not be targeted by groups who prey on their ignorance in the name of free enterprise. They are easily influenced and manipulated by the use of cartoons, "kid-friendly" slang, and their desire to be accepted and be liked by their peers. Producers of these foods take advantage of children’s immaturity to create a demand for their products and to make a profit. Food producers should not be allowed to market directly to children until they are at an age where they are able to distinguish fact from opinion in advertising. To help children and parents better understand how all foods fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet, I recommend the work of Leonard H. Epstein, PhD, a professor a the University at Buffalo, and one of the country's leading experts on childhood obesity. Epstein, who has studied obesity for the past two decades, is head of UB's Childhood Weight Control Program (716) 829-3400 or email@example.com). Dr. Epstein has developed and long researched the “Stoplight” diet for teaching children about “anytime, sometimes, and rarely” foods. This concept is easily understood and well accepted by children. By categorizing foods as (Red / Rarely, Yellow/ Sometimes, and Green / Go/ Anytime) foods, children can easily recognized the nutritional value of a product and how often it should be consumed. The Stoplight Diet, developed by Epstein in the 1970s, is widely used today by pediatricians across the country. Epstein, L.H. and Squires, S. The Stoplight Diet for Children: An Eight-Week Program for Parents and Children. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1988. Available in public libraries.