Michelle Obama Pushes Advertisers to Promote Healthier Food for Children During White House Summit

| by Emily Smith
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Michelle Obama pushed food companies and television broadcasters to advertise healthier foods to children Wednesday during a food marketing summit at the White House.

Representatives from food and media industries, advocacy and parent groups, and research institutions attended.

The First Lady cited a cultural shift taking place in America, noting salad bars in school cafeterias and whole-wheat pasta served as an option on kid's menus at restaurants.

Despite this progress, Mrs. Obama said there is still a lot of work do considering 1 in 3 American kids are on the track to developing diabetes.

"I'm here today with one simple request and that is to do even more and move even faster to market responsibly to our kids," she said.

Mrs. Obama compared children to sponges who absorb information without the ability to analyze or question anything, suggesting that advertising with cartoons promoting sugary products, and others like it, lead children to consume products they think are acceptable.

She linked these advertisements to obesity.

"I think this is a starting point," Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said. "For the first lady and the White House saying they are going to focus on food marketing and make it a priority, that's significant."

Promises for actions and proposals, however, were not made during the summit. Advocates in attendance said the White House did not make it clear whether further steps would be taken.

Sources: The Huffington Post, LA Times