Childhood obesity and food industry marketing

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Childhood obesity and food industry marketing

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2011-03-28

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Welcome to Public Health Moment from the University of Minnesota. Is there the courage – the political will – to change the American diet? That was the question posed by Yale University professor of public health Kelly Brownell at a recent lecture at the University of Minnesota. Brownell noted that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has committed $100 million a year over five years to combat childhood obesity. Yet, the food industry spends more than that in one week marketing junk food to children. <Brownell: “So, my belief is that there is almost no hope of dealing with the obesity problem, unless this issue is tackled. But it becomes hard to tackle and why is that? Because of the First Amendment of our Constitution. Our First Amendment of the Constitution protects your ability to speak. It protects your ability to speak religiously, politically, and really any other way you want. But it also protects your ability to speak commercially.”> Brownell calls for a tax on soft drinks as a way to combat obesity, cut health care costs, and raise revenue for debt-burdened government agencies. <Brownell: “What we propose specifically is a penny per ounce tax on any beverage with added sugar. The estimates from our economists are that this would decrease population consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by up to 23 percent. The estimates from the Congressional Budget Office are that such a decrease could reduce health care costs by $50 million over 10 years and it would generate an awful lot of money.”> For Public Health Moment, I’m Mark Engebretson.

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Engebretson, Mark; Kelly Brownell-Yale. (2011). Childhood obesity and food industry marketing. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/257631.

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