Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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Child Health Advocates Call For Ronald McDonald Out Of Schools

At a 2014 shareholder meeting, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said “In Schools and our restaurants you never see Ronald McDonald.” However, Ronald McDonald does frequently appear in schools around the world.  The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood drafted a letter to Mr. Thompson, asking him to stand by his words and ensure McDonald’s stops marketing to children in schools using the company mascot. Read more.

Congresswoman DeLauro Proposes Federal Soda Tax

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2014 (SWEET Act), a bill to address obesity and diabetes by discouraging excessive sugar in beverages. The SWEET Act would amend the I.R.S. code to impose a one-cent tax on manufacturers for every teaspoon of added sugar in beverages.

The revenue from the tax would go toward initiatives designed to reduce the human and economic costs associated with health conditions related to sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

"Scientific research shows a very clear relationship between the consumption of sugary drinks and obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health problems," said Marlene Schwartz, PhD, Rudd Center’s Director.  "Given the pervasive marketing of sugary drinks in our food environment today, we need to encourage families to make healthy choices and a soda tax has the potential to do just that." Read more.

Healthier Versions of Lunchables are Outnumbered and Out of Reach

When Kraft Foods joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) in 2006, it committed to advertise only healthier dietary choices, including some varieties of Lunchables, directly to children. 

However, a recent report by the Rudd Center examined the nutritional quality and marketing of Kraft Lunchables and found that just five out of 42 varieties meet CFBAI’s nutrition standards for advertising to children. In the supermarket, less nutritious versions of Lunchables outnumber the healthier ones by six to one, and the healthier varieties are most likely to be stocked on the top shelf, above eye level for both children and adults. Read more.


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