This was featured in SparkPeople's Health News Today:
"Food Makers Spent $1.6 Billion Targeting Children
The 44 largest food and beverage companies in the United States spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products to children and adolescents, says a Federal Trade Commission report to be released Tuesday.
About $492 million was spent on soda marketing, (primarily targeted at adolescents), about $237 million was spent on cereal marketing (primarily aimed at children under age 12), and restaurants spent close to $294 million on marketing that targeted children and adolescents about evenly, the Associated Press reported.
To prepare its study, the FTC used confidential financial data the companies were forced to hand over. The findings show that a large amount of money is being used to persuade children to eat foods that are often unhealthy, said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who pushed for the study.
"This study confirms what I have been saying for years. Industry needs to step up to the plate and use their innovation and creativity to market healthy foods to our kids," Harkin was quoted by the AP as saying. "That $1.6 billion could be used to attract our kids to healthy snacks, tasty cereals, fruits and vegetables."
My thoughts: This is what we are up against people! 1.6 BILLION dollars spent to influence our taste buds!
Now, this NEXT item is an example of what we CAN DO ABOUT IT!
"LA blocks new fast-food outlets from poor areas
LOS ANGELES - City officials are putting South Los Angeles on a diet.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in an impoverished swath of the city with a proliferation of such eateries and above average rates of obesity.
The yearlong moratorium is intended to give the city time to attract restaurants that serve healthier food. The action, which the mayor must still sign into law, is believed to be the first of its kind by a major city to protect public health.
"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said.
Representatives of fast-food chains said they support the goal of better diets but believe they are being unfairly targeted. They say they already offer healthier food items on their menus."
Kudos and hat's off to the LA City Council!
LET'S TELL OUR OFFICIALS AND PEOPLE IN POSITIONS OF INFLUENCE THAT WE WILL BACK THEM IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS!