WASHINGTON — Children viewed almost one-third (31%) fewer food ads on children’s programming from 2004 to 2008; more ads for fruits and vegetables; and fewer ads for soft drinks, cookies and other sweets, show the findings of a recent Georgetown Economic Services study that was cited here yesterday by Mary Sophos, senior vice president and chief government officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, during a presentation before a Federal Trade Commission forum.
“Over the last several years, our industry has voluntarily changed its advertising and marketing practices, introduced or reformulated well over 10,000 healthier products and invested in programs that promote increased physical activity and nutrition education as the keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” Sophos said in a statement.
The findings come just days after a Children Now-commissioned report found that of all foods advertised to kids, 72.5% are worthy of “whoa” status under the Department of Health and Human Service’s Go-Slow-Whoa rating system for gauging product healthfulness.
“Whoa” foods are the highest in fat and added sugar and are often low in nutrients, according to the HHS. It suggests that such foods should be eaten on a limited basis in small portions.
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