Posts Tagged ‘food labels’

Michelle Obama Asks Grocery Manufacturers for Healthier Foods

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

First Lady takes the offensive for childhood obesity.First Lady Michelle Obama recently took her initiative against childhood obesity to the source, asking companies at a meeting of the Grocery Manufacturers Association to “step it up” and add less fat, salt and sugar to foods.  “We need you not to just tweak around the edges but entirely rethink the products you are offering, the information that you provide about those products, and how you market those products to our children,” she said.

Although Mrs. Obama has addressed schools and nutrition groups about childhood obesity, this was the first time that she faced the companies that make the snacks and junk food that contribute to the problem.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association – whose members include Kraft Foods, Inc., Coca Cola Co. and General Mills, Inc. – had invited the first lady to speak at its science forum and gave her a standing ovation.

Mrs. Obama called for food labels that are less confusing, smaller portion sizes and increased marketing of healthy foods.  She also urged the food companies to find creative ways to market products as healthy, increase nutrients, and reduce the number of bad ingredients.  “While decreasing fat is certainly a good thing, replacing it with sugar and salt isn’t,” she said.  “This needs to be a serious industry-wide commitment to providing the healthier foods parents are looking for at prices they can afford.”

Scott Faber, a grocery association lobbyist, said his industry is working with the government to find ways to produce healthier foods.  “Consumers are demanding more and more healthy choices.  Our industry will do our part by changing the way we make and market our foods, but government has a big role to play as well.”