We Need Junk Food Laws, Not Suggestions

We need laws, not suggestions, argues Mark Bittman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 1:51 PM CDT
Kids have a meal at Burger King in this file photo.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The FTC’s new guidelines against marketing junk food to kids don’t go nearly far enough for Mark Bittman. “Instead of announcing, ‘We have guidelines you must follow,” the New York Times writer complains, “the FTC said, in effect, ‘We have voluntary guidelines we hope you’ll follow—they’re voluntary, you understand—and in five years we’d like you to voluntarily comply with these voluntary guidelines.’”

“We need legal action, not voluntary guidelines,” Bittman fumes. And we need them now. Can we really stomach “five more years of allowing children to think that a diet of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, PopTarts, Doritos, 7UP and Chicken McNuggets is normal?” The government acted with shocking quickness to clamp down on cigarette marketing after smoking was linked to cancer. Junk food is pretty clearly linked to diabetes and obesity in much the same way. “This isn’t food I’m talking about,” he argues, “but food-like products.”

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