BMSG statement on food marketing in schools

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Statement by BMSG Director Lori Dorfman, DrPH

Feb. 26, 2014 — Schools should be places of safety, learning and health — not customer-recruiting tools for food and beverage companies. Yet, that's exactly what many of them have become. Knowing they have a captive audience, marketers have infiltrated schools across the country, filling cafeterias, school buses, scoreboards — even textbooks — with ads for soda, candy and other junk food.

That's why the USDA's recently proposed rule to remove the marketing of unhealthy food and drinks in schools is so important. If put into place, the rule would make sure kids aren't seeing ads for cookies as they flip through their science books or walking past soda company logos each time they head to their math class. As First Lady Michelle Obama said, "[W]hen parents are working hard to teach their kids healthy habits at home, their work shouldn't be undone by unhealthy messages at school." This is an historic moment for food nutrition policy in the U.S. and an opportunity to send food and beverage companies the message that we won't let them profit at the expense of our kids' health.

About Berkeley Media Studies Group

Berkeley Media Studies Group researches the way public health issues are characterized in the media and helps community groups, journalists and advocates use the media to advance healthy public policy. BMSG is a project of the Public Health Institute.

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