Michelle Obama Targets Junk Food Ads

Staff Writer
The first lady continues her crusade for healthy eating

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Michelle Obama continues her quest to get kids to eat more vegetables and fruit.

First lady Michelle Obama continues her quest for getting kids to eat healthier, this time by hosting a summit at the White House yesterday, focusing on food marketing to kids.

The first ever "White House Convening on Food Marketing to Children" brought together representatives from the food and media industries, parents, advocates, and organizations, with Obama asking them to "do even more and move even faster to market responsibly to our kids."

"You see, the average child watches thousands of food advertisements each year, and 86 percent of these ads are for products loaded with sugar, fat, salt. By contrast, our kids see an average of just one ad a week for healthy products like water to fruits and vegetables. Just one ad a week," Obama said in her opening statement.

The issue of healthy eating for kids has been a big one for Obama since President Obama took office; Michelle Obama notes that as a mother, she too finds it difficult to maintain a healthy diet for her kids, although the industry is making slow progress.

"The National Restaurant Association surveyed chefs about trends in their industry, and three of the top 10 trends were specifically about healthy kids’ meals. A survey by the Food Marketing Institute found that 90 percent of grocery stores are offering healthy recipes to their customers, and 98 percent of them maintain health and wellness websites. And today, for the first time in decades, we’re actually starting to move the needle on this issue," Obama said in her opening speech.

And while many may question the efficacy of her plea to advertisers, Obama notes that the issues and questions will continue to be brought up unless something is changed.

"I didn't create this issue and it's not going to go away three and a half years from now when I'm no longer first lady," she said.

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