(HealthDay News) — More than half of the food and beverage products marketed to children do not meet the federal Interagency Working Group’s nutrition recommendations, according to a study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.
Rebecca M. Schermbeck, MPH, RD, and Lisa M. Powell, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, compared the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative’s April 2014 list of food and beverage products approved to be advertised on children’s television programs with the federal Interagency Working Group’s nutrition recommendations.
The authors assessed nutrition information on the basis of the nutrients to limit component of the Interagency Working Group’s recommendations for saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium.
Fifty-three percent of the 407 listed products did not meet the Interagency Working Group’s nutrition recommendations for one or more nutrients to limit, according to the data. The most common nutrient to limit that was not met among the listed products was sugar (32%). Ninety-nine percent of products, however, met the recommendations for trans fat.
Additionally, about 23% of total products did not meet recommendations for saturated fat, and 15% did not meet recommendations for sodium.
In contrast, all dairy-based desserts and seeds, nuts and nut butters and spreads met the Interagency Working Group’s recommendations, partially due to exemptions from nutrients to limit, the researchers noted.
“We recommend continued monitoring of child-directed marketing by public health researchers and that the public encourage the food and beverage industry to market their healthiest products to young consumers,” the authors write.