The FTC has released its new report on food marketing to kids. The big news? The food industry only spends $1.6 billion for this purpose, a figure nobody I know believes. The FTC had to subpoena this information and I’m sure that companies gave the lowest number they could. Kellogg may spend $32 million just for media advertising for Cheez-Its, but I’m sure it’s hard for the company to figure out how much of that goes for packages with cartoons on them. The FTC press release compliments food companies for all the great things they are doing to protect kids from what they used to do. It makes recommendations that begin with words like “work toward,” “encourage,” “continue,” and “consider,” but nothing much that says “stop!” I think $1.6 billion is likely to be an underestimate but it doesn’t really matter. The number should be zero, no?
Next public appearance
New Directions in the Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: A Festschrift in Honor of Per Pinstrup-Andersen. Cornell University, Statler Hotel Amphitheater. The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and ends with a reception the following day with remarks by professor Pinstrup-Andersen at 2:25 p.m. For the schedule and details, click here.
My joint contribution with Malden Nesheim is from 1:40-2:00 p.m. on “the internationalization of the obesity epidemic: the case of sugar-sweetened sodas.”