Markey pressure food advertisers to cut the fat


Media overload — and the public policy response — is a favorite topic.

I recently mentioned the Kaiser Family Foundation report titled Children, Parents, Media that looks at media exposure as a public health issue. It found that “two-thirds of parents would support more stringent federal regulation of television content.”


Apropos of that, Congressman Ed Markey last week challenged Coca-Cola, General Mills,Kraft Foods, McDonald’s and PepsiCo to “voluntarily implement the same restrictions on marketing to children recently announced by the Kellogg Company.” (See Kellogg Media Room and look for the June 14 material titled, Kellogg Strengthens Marketing Practices to Children.)


Markey, who chairs the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, held hearings Friday (June 22) “to explore the link between TV advertising and childhood obesity, and whether regulatory or legislative solutions are needed to restrict food marketing on television to combat the serious public health issue of childhood obesity.” The hearings were titled, “Images kids see on the screen.” I haven’t yet found any of the materials presented at the hearings but will link to them when/if I do.

In a related development the laissez faire Progress and Freedom Foundation, last week issued a booklet titled “Parental Controls and Online Child Protections” that provides an overview of the tools available to let parents filter media consumption and lays out the political argument for “regulation” by the family rather than by the Congtess. Says author Adam Thierer:

“there has never been a time in our nation’s history when parents have had more tools and methods at their disposal to help them decide what is acceptable in their homes and in the lives of their children . . .  as we move from a ‘community standards’ approach (one-size-fits-all) to one of ‘household standards’ (individually tailored)”