Page 3 of 4   <       >

Making Headway or Headed Nowhere?

Grade: C+ for food companies

"Ads and marketing aimed at children are still overwhelmingly for foods of poor nutritional quality. However, 13 major food manufacturers and restaurants have pledged to limit such marketing . . . and [to] apply those standards to television, print and radio ads, marketing in elementary schools and on the Internet, and [not] use product placement. [But such pledges] most often do not cover on-package marketing or marketing in middle and high schools. "

Grade: D- for entertainment companies

"Most entertainment companies have agreed to limit the use of their licensed characters on foods of poor nutritional quality. However, those policies do not apply to other marketing by the companies."

State and Local Governments

The recommendations:

* Expand opportunities for physical activity in the community through changes to ordinances, capital improvement programs.

* Work with communities to expand access to healthful foods.

Christine Ferguson, director of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity Alliance, based at George Washington University:

Grade: C-

"There are four specific areas where state and local action has been insufficient to date: Establishing a definition of successful weight loss based on health outcomes; encouraging innovations in treatment; addressing and reducing the impact of stigma; and broadening obesity research."

Health Care Professionals

The recommendations:

* Routinely track body mass index in children and offer counseling and guidance.

<          3        >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company