Europe's new diet

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Randall, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Randall

    Randall Guest

    Wednesday, January 26, 2005

    Europe's new diet


    Like the United States, Europe faces a growing problem of childhood
    obesity. After years of relatively lax regulation of food labeling and
    advertising, Europeans are fighting back more aggressively than we are.

    Markos Kyprianou, the European Union's commissioner for health and consumer
    affairs, sent a strong warning to food companies last week, saying that
    they face strict regulations unless they agree to reduce advertising aimed
    at children. In an interview with the Financial Times, Kyprianou said he
    would like to see "the industry not advertising directly to children

    Britain has similarly emphasized voluntary action. But Public Health
    Minister Melanie Johnson told British reporters, "There is a strong case
    for action to limit the advertising and promotion to children of those
    foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar."

    Similar support from top Bush administration officials is something parents
    here could only dream about. But pressure is building.

    A committee of the Institute of Medicine last year recommended that
    companies develop marketing guidelines aimed at childhood obesity. And the
    Los Angeles Times reports that a new institute committee is looking at how
    advertising influences kids' choices.

    As in Europe, U.S. food marketing needs to change. On either continent,
    voluntary action would be preferable. But, as President Bush sometimes
    likes to say, no option should be off the table.