HealthDay News — Over half of food and beverage products marketed to children do not meet the federal nutrition recommendations issued by a government-based interagency working group, according to study findings.
The Interagency Working Group (IWG) is compromised of representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, the CDC, the FDA, and United States Department of Agriculture. The IWG, along with food and beverage industry representatives, created voluntary nutrition guidelines for food and beverage products that are advertised on children’s programs.
“Children see 10 to 13 food-related advertisements per day on television, half of which air during programs specifically for children,” wrote Rebecca M. Schermbeck, MPH, RD, and Lisa M. Powell, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues in Preventing Chronic Disease.
To assess nutrition information on the basis of the nutrients to limit component of the IWG’s recommendations (saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium), the investigators compared the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative’s April 2014 list of food and beverage products approved to be advertised on children’s television programs with the federal IWG’s nutrition recommendations.
Of the 407 listed products, 53% did not meet the IWG’s nutrition recommendations. The most common nutrient to limit that was not met among the listed products was sugar (32%); however, 99% of products met the recommendations for trans fat.
“We recommend continued monitoring of child-directed marketing by public health researchers and that the public encourage the food and beverage industry to market their healthiest products to young consumers,” concluded the researchers.