While this blog was dominated by the discussion of Chinese-processed chicken in school meals, a lot has been going on in the kid-and-food-news world. Here’s a quick roundup to keep you up to speed.
First Lady Addresses Problem of Junk Food Marketing to Kids
On September 19th, Michelle Obama convened a landmark summit at the White House to discuss the food and beverage industries’ marketing to children, a matter of great concern to me and many other food policy activists. Representatives from industry and the public health and academic communities were in attendance and the First Lady’s speech was widely lauded for its candor. (See, for example, Marion Nestle’s recap here.) But Michele Simon laments that it was the wrong Obama taking on the issue. Whether anything productive comes from the summit remains to be seen, but kudos to Mrs. Obama for at least squarely addressing the issue.
McDonald’s Improves its Kids’ Meals — But With a Catch?
Last week McDonald’s announced that it was partnering with the Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation to improve its Happy Meals. (Read the text of the announcement here.) One of the commitments made by McDonald’s was agreeing to promote only water, milk and juice as the standard Happy Meal beverage, including removing soda from its menu boards. But Casey Hinds of KY Healthy Kids decided to look at the actual text of the McDonalds/AHG agreement and found that soda can indeed still appear on menu boards as a Happy Meals beverage choice. The Center for Science in the Public Interest cried foul. And Marion Nestle pointed out that, at any rate, the promised Happy Meal improvements are going to be a long time coming.
Is Biased Reporting Hurting the Food Movement?
Food policy advocate Nancy Huehnergarth had a great piece in The Hill earlier this week pointing out how news reporting regarding food policy initiatives, such as the healthier new school meal standards, is often misleading and sensationalistic, which only harms those efforts.
WashPo Special Report on Childhood Obesity — Good News?
Last week the Washington Post issued a feature on childhood obesity and the degree to which the tide might be turning. You can find all the collected stories here.
Sugar and the School Food Environment
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