Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative announces nutritional criteria in US


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Arlington, VA - July 14, 2011. The Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a program of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, today announced a groundbreaking agreement that will change the landscape of what is advertised to kids by the nation's largest food and beverage companies. For the first time, these food and beverage companies, who do the vast majority of advertising to children, will follow uniform nutrition criteria for foods advertised to children.

These uniform nutrition criteria, designed by CFBAI and top food industry scientists and nutritionists, will further strengthen voluntary efforts to change child-directed food advertising. Approximately one in three products currently advertised to kids do not meet the new nutrition criteria. While individual companies already have strong nutrition criteria for the products they advertise, the new uniform nutrition criteria will require many companies to change the recipes of these products or they will not be able to advertise them after December 31, 2013.

The new criteria encourage the development of new products with less sodium, saturated fat and sugars, and fewer calories.

“These uniform nutrition criteria represent another huge step forward, further strengthening voluntary efforts to improve child-directed advertising. Now foods from different companies, such as cereals or canned pastas, will meet the same nutrition criteria, rather than similar but slightly different company-specific criteria. The new criteria are comprehensive, establishing limits for calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and total sugars as well as requirements for nutrition components to encourage,” said Elaine Kolish, Vice President and Director of the CFBAI.

The result of a year-long effort to further improve the nutrition composition of foods advertised to children, the new CFBAI criteria take into account food science, U.S. dietary guidelines, and the real-world difficulties of changing recipes of well-known foods.

Further information is available below. Please contact Will Gilroy for additional questions and comments. Read WFA Analysis on the societal debate around global food marketing here.

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