Advocacy Group Blasts Fast-Food Marketing

WASHINGTON, D.C. A national advocacy organization argues that food marketing contributes to childhood obesity, according to a report released today by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Examples identified in the report include Krispy Kreme’s “Good Grades” program, in which students get a doughnut for each “A” on their report cards, and the “McDonald’s Barbie,” in which the doll feeds burgers, fries and a Sprite to a kid sister in a restaurant play set.

“No amount of eye-rolling can capture how hypocritical it is for food company flacks to talk about ‘moderation, balance and exercise,'” said the group’s executive director, Michael Jacobson. “Anyone who looks at these marketing techniques can see that they encourage excess, not moderation.”

The group called for a ban of all advertising of low-nutritional food to children at a press conference Monday, but advertising lobbyists called such a proposal unconstitutional.

“The food advertising area is one of the most regulated,” said Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of government relations for the Association of National Advertisers. “This proposal is going way over the top.”