Submission Number: 03580
Received: 7/13/2011 11:19:50 PM
Commenter: Jenifer Matthews
Organization: Phat Beet Produce
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts; Project No. P094513
Attachments: No Attachments
As a pediatrician in an urban community, I am blown away by how easy it is for kids to have access to high calorie, nutrient poor food. I used to think all I had to do was spend time counseling families on healthy diet choices, and they would be able to make positive changes. I quickly learned this was not the case. Even with education and improved access, this is still a struggle.
Our children and communities are bombarded with media and information from fast food companies and calorie rich beverage giants. The messaging is nothing short of brainwashing. 15% of preschoolers ask their parents to go to McDonald's everyday.
In front of my health clinic, there is a bill board for McDonalds that has a picture of a hamburger that reads "crated for your craving." Exactly. So, I may spend 30 minutes with a patient talking about better food options, but the instant they leave, the exact opposite message is right back in their face.
We need to continue to educate our communities (myself include) about healthier lifestyle choices, but we have to give ourselves a fighting chance. We need stricter legislation that curtails this constant messaging and creation of consumer preference that starts at the ages of 2 and 3 years of age. This is an important piece of the puzzle. By not creating stricter legislation, we are allowing for the continued increase in our nation's waistline.