by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Feb 9, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement after First Lady Michelle Obama announced a new effort to combat childhood obesity:
“I support the First Lady’s ambitious efforts to combat childhood obesity. During childhood, we develop the eating habits and preferences that can drive our food choices for the rest of our lives. We need to ensure that families can make their own decisions about their diet, without the manipulative influence of the highly profitable and sometimes predatory junk food industry.
“Most Americans don’t know that the government now subsidizes the marketing of junk food and fast food to kids in order to cement their brand and taste allegiances early in life. That is why I introduced HR 4310, which would revoke the tax breaks that companies receive for advertising and marketing unhealthy food to children,” said Kucinich.
According to the Institute of Medicine, in 2004 approximately $10 billion was spent on food advertising directed at children. Plainly stated, marketing to children works. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it. A child’s developing brain is no match for a $10 billion industry that uses the best behavioral and developmental research to create emotional bonds to brands before the children’s ability to distinguish fact from opinion has developed.
“By continuing to use hard-earned taxpayer money to subsidize this marketing and advertising, we are undercutting our own efforts to curb the obesity epidemic. HR 4310 would end this practice, protect American children, and ensure that they grow up in a healthy environment. Moreover, in today’s budget-conscious environment, HR 4310 is a commonsense way to provide funding for the First Lady’s initiative,” added Kucinich.
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