Bush Asks Firms To Promote Healthy Habits for Kids
Food, beverage and entertainment companies should highlight the importance of healthy diet and physical activity in marketing campaigns that target children, President Bush said on Thursday at a closed meeting with company officials, the Washington Post reports (Abramowitz, Washington Post, 2/2).
First lady Laura Bush and representatives from General Mills, Coca-Cola North America, Univision Communications, Kraft Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo, Subway, McDonald's and Nickelodeon Television attended the meeting (Riechmann, AP/Los Angeles Times, 2/1).
According to individuals who attended the meeting, Bush "signaled no intent to pursue more aggressive polices favored by some consumer groups, such as banning the marketing of junk food to children or requiring more detailed nutritional labeling," the Post reports. Bush said that individuals, not the federal government, are responsible for whether they maintain healthy diets.
Individuals at the meeting also viewed a public service announcement developed by DreamWorks and the Advertising Council that features characters from the film "Shrek" and asks children to play outside.
Bush before the meeting said, "Childhood obesity is a costly problem for the country," adding, "We believe it is necessary to come up with a coherent strategy to help folks all throughout our country cope with the issue" (Abramowitz, Washington Post, 2/2). He said, "One way for this nation to cope with the issue of obesity is to get people outside -- whether it be through sports or hiking or conservation."
Laura Bush said, "Mothers are the ones, a lot of times, who make choices for their children," adding, "They make their choices on the foods they eat. They're the ones at home, many times, who encourage their children to exercise" (AP/Los Angeles Times, 2/1).