I’m on a panel for the NYAS’s conference on Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare: Opportunities for Self-Reflection and Action, June 24-25. Location: 7 World Trade Center. 250 Greenwich St, 40th Floor. Information and registration are here. My panel is on the 25th at 10:45 a.m. , Session VI: Hot topic discussion: getting to the truth in nutrition science. Other panelists are Mona Calvo fro Penn State, Mehmood Khan from Life Biosciences, and Linda Van Horn from Northwestern. Moderator is Julia Belluz from Vox.
Michele Obama to La Raza: Hold companies responsible for what they make and market to kids
It’s been more than three years since Michele Obama’s speech to the Grocery Manufacturers Association about the unhealthy effects of their food marketing on kids.
But she’s back, this time talking to an audience representing specific targets of food industry marketing—Hispanics.
In a speech to the National Council of La Raza, she said:
While we still have a long way to go, the good news is that right now, we have everything we need to reclaim our children’s health — that is, if we’re willing to step up and continue to do our part in our own families and communities.
And that starts by using our power as consumers to hold companies responsible for the food they make and how they market it to our kids.
In 2008 alone, companies spent well over half a billion dollars on food, beverage and restaurant ads in Latino media markets — many of them for unhealthy products.
And those of us with kids who have seen our kids begging and pleading for something they saw on TV, we know just how persuasive these ads can be.
So we all know that the food industry has some serious work to do when it comes to how they market food to our kids.
But here’s the thing — ultimately, we all have the power to decide whether or not to actually buy those foods…Goya can produce low-sodium products, but if we don’t buy them, they will stop selling them….
In the end, we create the demand for these products and it’s up to us to demand quality, affordable food that is good for our kids. But it’s on us. (Applause)
OK, so she’s not exactly calling for boycotts or talking about legislation that might put some limits on food industry marketing. But reading between the lines, it comes pretty close.