WASHINGTON D.C. - At a public forum held today by the Federal Trade Commission on "Sizing Up Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity," activists called on Congress to pass legislation that would heavily curtail food marketing to children. The following statement may be attributed to Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation:
It's easy to pick on advertising as the cause of all of society's ills, but there's no hard evidence that food advertising is to blame for childhood obesity or that restricting food ads on television or the Internet will solve the problem. Industry is already responding to demands by parents and other consumers with healthier foods and self-regulation. Rather than restricting the free speech of advertisers, and thus diluting First Amendment rights in general, the FTC should use its existing authority to punish truly unfair and deceptive claims. Governments and schools should focus on educating kids and parents about eating healthier and exercising more.
Szoka is available for comment. Please contact Amy Smorodin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.