Last week, Laurie Whitsel, Director of Policy Research at the American Heart Association, sent out an email asking PreventObesity.net Leaders and Supporters to urge the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) to encourage their members to adopt new recommendations around food marketing to children.
Thanks to PreventObesity.net’s amazing group of advocates in the childhood obesity prevention movement, the CFBAI received more than 4,700 letters in just a few days! It was an incredible response, and might have even set a new PreventObesity.net record.
In case you missed it, Healthy Eating Research (HER), a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, brought together a panel of experts to develop a series of evidence-based recommendations for food marketing to children. Among other things, these Expert Recommendations for Responsible Food Marketing to Children suggest raising the age of children protected by these guidelines to 14, and ensuring that any food marketed specifically toward children meets nutrition guidelines. (You can read our coverage of the recommendations here.)
The recommendations were written about in Politico and by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI also hosted a webinar that was attended by over 150 people, a Tweetchat that engaged more than 200 people and had a reach of 462,400 (for a grand total of 4,700,000 impressions!), and also asked people to send letters to the individual companies that participate in CFBAI. That ask resulted in more than 2,100 letters sent to 16 companies including General Mills and Post Foods, who both replied to CSPI supporters.
And CFBAI has said in a statement that, "Our self-regulation programs have always welcomed thoughtful recommendations for improvement. In considering HER’s recommendations, we will evaluate them comprehensively."
Between PreventObesity.net Supporters and Leaders and CSPI’s efforts, CFBAI and its members received more than 6,800 letters encouraging them to implement stronger food marketing standards. So take a moment and congratulate yourselves for a job well done. Thanks to thousands of you, food companies are taking children’s health more seriously.
(P.S. – If you missed the original email, it’s not too late to send a letter! You can do so by clicking here.)