This is a serious and growing health concern for children in many countries around the world. While the U.S. seems to get most of the attention, obviously it isn't limited to the States.GENEVA (Reuters) – Governments must work with industry to restrict advertising of foods high in salt, sugar and dangerous fats targeted at children to tackle an epidemic of obesity and other diseases, health officials said on Friday.
Wow! That number is really high.Dr. Timothy Armstrong, who heads the WHO's efforts on promoting healthy diet and physical education, said non-communicable diseases now account for 90 percent of premature deaths in low- and middle-income countries, where obesity is a rising problem.
I think this is responsible for companies to voluntarily address the problem. However, I find it hard to believe McDonald's, among others, will ever give up Happy Meals voluntarily to stop marketing to young children.WHO officials consulted leading companies in the sector -- Coca-Cola, Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald's, Mars, Nestle, Pepsico, Unilever and the World Federation of Advertisers.
The companies agreed to draw up a code of conduct and committed not to market unhealthy products to children under the age of 12, he said.
In some markets companies were living up to this pledge.
I have a serious concern with government MANDATES. Guidelines I can live with, but MANDATES? I still believe that companies should be able to determine their own practices (within reason, of course) and that parents should be responsible for parenting."The concept is that governments must lead this process," he said.
It was up to governments to choose the best approach. Some might prefer to legislate a ban on advertising, others could agree independently monitored self-regulation with industry. But the WHO was aware that legislation and enforcement was beyond the capacity of some small, poor states, he said.