New Dietary Guidelines Too Strict, Says Food Industry Group

The government has proposed a new set of voluntary guidelines that restricts marketing of foods to children, but the Sensible Food Policy Coalition does not agree with these guidelines.

The coalition said these new guidelines, which were introduced in April, are so strict – they are urging the government to reconsider and withdraw the proposal.

The Coalition, which is comprised of companies from the food, media and advertising industries, is concerned about government restrictions on advertising, said Jim Davidson, director of the coalition.

“They have all played an important role about raising awareness on childhood obesity and trying to find a solution,” he told Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of

The new guidelines are looking to stop companies from marketing attractive ads toward children – for example using Tony the Tiger on a cereal box, as well as compiling a list of foods that would not be healthy enough to advertise toward children.

The coalition said on their website that even ‘healthy’ foods like oatmeal and Cheerios would be on that list.

Even the foods that are allowed under the USDA’s WIC program do not meet the new guidelines, Davidson said.

Two agencies – the Health and Human Services Department and Department of Agriculture – update the country’s dietary guidelines every five years.

“Fast forward nine months – the same agencies producing a set of guidelines that are so rigid that they admit most companies wouldn’t meet those guidelines,” Davidson said.

Davidson did admit that he believes First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House have done some “pragmatic things about raising awareness for nutrition;” however, the government’s new proposed guidelines are not consistent with last year’s dietary guidelines.

“We need to do what Congress was asked to do – and that’s study these foods, the advertising of these foods and childhood obesity and see if there is a correlation,” Davidson said. “There are no studies proving a correlation between the two.”