Michelle Obama Talks to Major Food Companies About Obesity
Michelle Obama will speak to the Grocery Manufacturers Association today about childhood obesity. Kraft Foods Inc, Lance Inc, General Mills Inc, and Coca Cola will be some of the big food industry giants she will speak to. The industries that produce so much junk food seems to be taking some blows including a child nutrition bill that is about to move through Congress that could attempt to eliminate junk food in schools.
The first lady’s address comes at a hard time for the food industry as the U.S. Congress is moving towards a child nutrition bill hoping to eliminate junk food in schools. The Food and Drug Administration is beginning a crack down on misleading food labeling which labels some items "healthy" that are not. Even the Senate is getting involved as they begin to consider using a tax on soda and other sweetened drinks to pay towards an overhauled health system.
Michelle Obama is following through with her plan to stop obesity by talking to the food industry giants. Obama has said she would like to see more customer-friendly food labels "so parents won't have to spend hours squinting at words that they can't pronounce to figure out whether the foods that they're buying are healthy or not."
Scott Faber who is a lobbyist for the grocery association, said the industry is willing to work along with the government to find ways to have healthier foods. "Consumers are demanding more and more healthy choices," he said. "Our industry will do our part by changing the way we make and market our foods, but government has a big role to play as well."
Consumer advocates appear to be optimistic about the industry's involvement and will take a wait and see approach. "They want to be riding that crest rather than fighting it," said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, a Washington-based public health research organization. "There is a long ways between saying the right things and doing the right thing."
Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest said, “When I first started working on junk food in schools, it was a very contentious issue where we regularly did battle with junk and snack food companies,” she said. “Now it’s a whole new world, and many of them are supporting updating standards.” She further stated, “When you see the handwriting on the wall, it’s time to get on the right side of the issue,” Wootan said.
Meanwhile today Michelle Obama will talk to some of the biggest names in the food and drink industry to attempt to help stop childhood obesity.