For Immediate Release

Kucinich: Don’t Subsidize Childhood Obesity

Revoke tax breaks for junk food advertising

WASHINGTON - Congressman
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement after First
Lady Michelle Obama announced a new effort to combat childhood obesity:


“I
support the First Lady’s ambitious efforts to combat childhood obesity.
During childhood, we develop the eating habits and preferences that can
drive our food choices for the rest of our lives. We need to ensure
that families can make their own decisions about their diet, without
the manipulative influence of the highly profitable and sometimes
predatory junk food industry.  

“Most
Americans don’t know that the government now subsidizes the marketing
of junk food and fast food to kids in order to cement their brand and
taste allegiances early in life. That is why I introduced HR 4310,
which would revoke the tax breaks that companies receive for
advertising and marketing unhealthy food to children,” said Kucinich.

According
to the Institute of Medicine, in 2004 approximately $10 billion was
spent on food advertising directed at children. Plainly stated,
marketing to children works. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it. A
child’s developing brain is no match for a $10 billion industry that
uses the best behavioral and developmental research to create emotional
bonds to brands before the children’s ability to distinguish fact from
opinion has developed. 

“By
continuing to use hard-earned taxpayer money to subsidize this
marketing and advertising, we are undercutting our own efforts to curb
the obesity epidemic. HR 4310 would end this practice, protect American
children, and ensure that they grow up in a healthy environment.
Moreover, in today’s budget-conscious environment, HR 4310 is a
commonsense way to provide funding for the First Lady’s initiative,”
added Kucinich.

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