SEPT. 12, 2007 - MARKEY LAUDS WHOPPER COMMITMENT, CHALLENGES OTHER FOOD MARKETERS TO TRIM THE FAT IN

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, today lauded Burger King for becoming the 12th major food and beverage company to agree to restricting advertisements for unhealthy foods directed at children. Today, Chairman Markey also sent letters to Chuck E. Cheese, Nestle, ConAgra, Dannon, and Yum! Brands calling on them to set similar restrictions on their marketing campaigns. Chairman Markey has been a leading advocate for urging media and food and beverage companies to place limits on marketing directed at young children.

“Burger King is making a whopper of a commitment to public health by voluntarily setting nutrition standards on advertising directed at children. I commend the Burger King Corporation for joining Kellogg, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Kraft, General Mills and others, in making such commitments. These commitments are a positive step in our nation’s fight against the childhood obesity epidemic,” said Rep. Markey.

“While parents and families have a responsibility to steer their children toward healthy choices, the Institute of Medicine has linked the current trend toward poor nutrition and childhood obesity in our country to the prevalence of television advertisements for fast food, junk food, sugared cereals, and other foods lacking in nutritional value. It is important that other food and beverage companies step up and match the efforts these 12 companies are making.”

In July, 11 major food, beverage and restaurant companies pledged to the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) that they would eliminate the use of licensed characters to market unhealthy food and beverage products and limit marketing to children 12 and younger to foods that meet specific nutritional guidelines, or eliminate marketing to children altogether. Burger King’s commitment today makes them the 12th company to join the CBBB’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.

The letters Rep. Markey sent to Chuck E. Cheese, Nestle, ConAgra, Dannon, and Yum! Brands today, target the major food companies that thus far have failed to join voluntary national efforts to restrict ads.

This summer’s pledges to the CBBB followed a congressional hearing chaired by Rep. Markey calling attention to the relationship between marketing unhealthy food and childhood obesity, and letters from Rep. Markey to five major food companies calling on them to implement nutritional restrictions on marketing to children. (More information on the hearing and letters here and here.)

Chairman Markey's letters to:

Chuck E. Cheese

Nestle

ConAgra

Dannon

Yum! Brands

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836