Interagency Working Group Publishes Guidelines for Food Marketing to Kids

April 29, 2011

USDA, FDA, FTC, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have initiated a set of voluntary guidelines for marketing foods to kids.

Need any guidance on launching a healthy children’s product? USDA, FDA, FTC, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have formed an Interagency Working Group to provide voluntary guidance on nutritional profiles and marketing strategies for food and beverage products aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 17. The working group has now published voluntary guidelines for food marketing to children and is seeking public comment before presenting it to Congress.

The working group’s guidelines are proposed voluntary nutrition and marketing principles, and there appears no intention to consider them for government regulation; nonetheless, the agencies are seeking your comment so that their principles best reflect healthful marketing and manufacturing of children’s food products.

The working group offers a two-pronged approach to foods being marketed to kids.

First, those foods should have a contribution from at least one of the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, fish, extra lean meat or poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds, or beans.

Second, the working group has offered goals for reaching minimal levels of ingredients understood as having potential negative health impacts (e.g. fats and sugars). Those goals are outlined in a publically-available document.

Saturated fats: 1 g or less per RACC and 15% or less of calories

Trans Fat: 0 g per RACC

Added Sugars: No more than 13 g of added sugars per RACC

Sodium: No more than 210 mg per serving