US: Draft legislation calling for assessment of school-based food marketing
On 22 September, a draft bill was introduced in the American Congress, calling for the Department of Education to “conduct a thorough assessment of school-based food marketing.” The bill, sponsored by Representatives Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Todd Platt (R-PA), would require the U.S. Department of Education, along with the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to assess the nutritional quality of foods available in schools and the forms of food marketing in schools.
The draft text of the bill entitled the ‘Food Marketing in Schools Assessment Act’, calls for the Department of Education to conduct “a study on the extent and types of marketing of foods and beverages in elementary and secondary schools” including the following elements:
“Assessment of Nutrition- The study shall assess the nutritional quality of the types of foods and beverages marketed in schools
“Assessment of Media- The study shall assess all media through which foods and beverages are marketed to children in elementary and secondary schools, including
- brand and product logos, names, or information on educational materials, book covers, school supplies, posters, vending machine exteriors, scoreboards, displays, signs, equipment, buses, buildings, and other school property;
- educational and other incentive programs;
- label redemption programs;
- in-school television, radio, and print publications;
- free samples and coupons;
- branded fundraising activities;
- taste-testing and other market research activities; and
- incidental exposure to food and beverage marketing through computer use, including computer banner and wallpaper ads, or podcasts in schools.”
“Examination of Regulatory Mechanisms- The study required by subsection (a) shall also examine mechanisms regulating marketing in elementary and secondary schools, including
- Federal, State, and local policies;
- contracts; and
- sales incentives.”
Under the current bill, the Department of Education would be expected to submit the above report to Congress by 1 July 2010.
The draft bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor for scrutiny. We understand that a date for further debate has not been set yet.
Source: Advertising Education Forum