Regulations and Restrictions of Advertisers and Manufacturers in the Food Industry by Victoria Probert

Class: Government and Media

Major: Integrated Marketing and Communications, Class of  2013

Abstract:

        The following paper focuses on the laws and regulations involving advertising in the food industry in the United States. It examines examples of advertising regulations set forth in the food industry, as well as court cases, their verdicts, and court appointed opinion. These regulations are critically analysed under scope of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Federal Trade Commission Act. Research will portray how government institutions and authorities oversee and protect the general public against the food industry.

Research Question:

Can the United States government restrict advertising on any or all programs regarding food, and any type of advertising regarding food products?

Methodology:

I consulted several media outlets to begin gathering information for this assignment. Upon declaring a topic, I watched documentaries on Netflix related to the food industry and health issues in the United States. These documentaries allowed me to further understand what I should be studying and focused search engine terms on – childhood obesity, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and what advertisers are doing to help consumers adhere to healthier diets. At Now You’re Cooking, my place of part-time work, I was given a pocket United States Constitution by my employer. After reading the First Amendment again at work, this new take on the First Amendment allowed me to understand the perspective of not just consumers, but advertisers, and the food industry manufacturers and business owners as well. I was able to form a solid research question from there and thus moved forward in my research. I went on to government websites and watched videos to hear professional opinions on the obesity epidemic in the United States. These opinions were important in my research because they foretold what the Food and Drug Administration has set in motion to help combat unhealthy lifestyles and life choices.

I learned about personal opinions and beliefs of educators in the public school system. Insights were given regarding the importance of the incorporation of physical activity to childhood development and total memory recall. I also used Google and began to search several key phrases and terms. I learned that Cookie Monster, of Sesame Street, has been taught that cookies are now “a sometimes snack.” I then used Google to search “Cookie Monster and Vegetables” and retrieved several articles about Sesame Street’s vow to educate children about healthy lifestyles and food choices. Other terms searched using Google were “children, food, and advertising,” “health and food,” “added sugars,” “Michelle Obama Let’s Move,” “McDonald’s and children’s health,” “obesity and personal responsibility.”

Personal responsibility was a term educators used during interviews in reference to nutrition and health in private homes as well as public institutions. The term triggered ongoing Google and Ithaca College library database searches, which led me to many McDonald’s court cases regarding obesity and health issues.  On the Ithaca College library database I also searched “food regulation,” and “food media and kids.” From these searches I was able to find scholarly journals and nationwide articles regarding health issues and advertising in the food industry, particularly regarding children. For all regulations, the researcher consulted chapter eight of Law of Public Communications. I also found the U.S. Government Printing Office website to be a vital resource in finding information regarding advertising regulations set forth in the food industry to protect consumers.

Regulation and Restriction of Advertisers and Manufacturers in the Food Industry

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”1 According to Middleton and William, the authors of Law of Public Communications, in 1914 the Federal Trade Commission Act established federal authority to outlaw deceptive acts and practices, including false advertising. The authors also state that in 1942, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could regulate advertising without infringing freedom of expression because commercial speech was not protected by the United States Constitution. The National Archives and Records Administration’s website lists all Codes of Federal Regulations. Title 16: Commercial Practices states that, “No statement or illustration should be used in any advertisement which creates a false impression of the grade, quality, make, value, currency of model, size, color, usability, or origin of the product offered, or which may otherwise misrepresent the product in such a manner that later, on disclosure of the true facts, the purchaser may be switched from the advertised product to another.”2

In the United States, the food industry and it’s advertisers have lobbyists that ensure their rights are safeguarded in Washington. 3 However, they do fall under strict scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Federal Trade Commission.4 In the documentary filmed by CNBC, One Nation, Overweight, Scott Faber, Vice President of Federal Affairs of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is interviewed and asked several questions regarding health and nutrition. In the film, CNBC correspondent Scott Wapner accuses Faber, “Your companies spend about $1.6 billion a year directly advertising to children, and much of that is spent on junk food.” 5

Faber responds by stating, “I don’t know the numbers but that is not true. The truth is, because we have applied strict nutrition standards to our child directed advertising, advertising seen on child programming, more than two thirds of the advertisements now seen on kids shows are for healthy products or active lifestyles.”6 One Nation, Overweight also states that as a nation, the United States spends $137 billion a year on fast food, and $60 billion a year on weight loss solutions.7

In January, 2011, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) launched the Facts Up Front system, a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labelling system designed to help consumers make more informed decisions while shopping. 8 On the GMA’s website, under Issues & Policy, Health & Nutrition,the GMA declares that,

We have introduced more than 20,000 new product choices with fewer calories, reduced fat, sodium and sugar, and more whole grains. Through the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, we have pledged to remove 1.5 trillion calories from the food supply by 2015… and have voluntarily adopted strict advertising criteria so that 100 percent of ads seen on children’s programming now feature healthy products and healthy lifestyle messages. 9

Others who have joined in the voluntary Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative are members of the Better Business Bureau. These companies include Burger King Corp., Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, ConAgra Foods, Inc., The Dannon Company, General Mills, Inc., The Hershey Company, Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods Global, Inc., which now includes Cadbury Adams USA, LLC, Mars, Inc., McDonald’s USA, Nestle USA, PepsiCo, Inc., Post Foods, LLC, Sara Lee Corp., and Unilever United States.10

However, these programs are completely voluntary, and companies are self-regulating their own material.11 In the Supreme Court case of Cincinnati v. Discovery Network in 1993, the city argued that, “A lesser protection to commercial speech than to other constitutional guaranteed expression, is preferential treatment of newspapers over commercial publications as a permissible method of serving its legitimate interest in ensuring safe streets and regulating visual blight.”12  The Court of Appeals did not agree, and ruled that the lesser status of commercial speech is relevant only when its regulation was designed either to prevent false or misleading advertising, or to alleviate distinctive adverse effects of the specific speech itself.13

The Nutritional Advertising Coordination Act of 1993 was set forth to amend the Federal Trade Commission Act, to require nutritional claims in food advertising to meet the requirements applicable to nutritional claims for food and for other purposes. 14 Section five of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45) is amended by adding at the end the following:

The Commission shall prescribe rules to prohibit unfair and deceptive acts and practices in food advertising. Such rules shall require claims in advertising for food – characterising the level of any nutrient in the food of the type required by section 403(q)(1) or 403(q)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to be in the labelling of the food or characterizing the relationship of any such nutrient to a disease or health related condition, shall be consistent… with section 403(r) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and with the regulations of the Secretary of Health and Human Services implementing such section and the corresponding regulations issued by the Secretary of Agriculture.” 15

The Federal Trade Commissions Act also states that an attorney general has the right to bring civil action on behalf of its residents in an  appropriate district court of the United States… to enforce compliance with such rule of the commission, to obtain damages on behalf of their residents, or to obtain such further and other relief as the court may deem appropriate, if the attorney believes the interests of the residents of that State have been or are being threatened. 16

Many attornies have been taken to court to fight against the food industry. In the case of Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp, the parents of 19-year old Jazlyn Bradley, who [in 2002] weighs 270 pounds, and 14-year old Ashley Pelman, who [in 2002] weighs 170 pounds, 17 sued the McDonald’s Corporation and their local Bronx, New York franchises for damages related to their obesity.18 The plaintiffs argued that McDonald’s and their two local franchises failed to disclose any ingredients and effects of its food products, for which many items on the McDonald’s menu contain ingredients high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol. 19 The plaintiffs, who later became classified under the name “Pelman,” filed a full-fledged products liability case.20 The judge dismissed this claim and their complaint was amended and limited to allegations of personal injury on grounds of violations of the New York Consumer Protection Act. 21 The New York Consumer Protection laws prohibit deceptive acts or practices when conducting business or providing services. Similar to the Federal Trade Commissions Act, The New York Consumer Protection laws permit an injured consumer to commence a private cause of action and recover either actual damages or statutory damages when a person or entity has engaged in a deceptive act or practice.22

In the Pelman case, the court found that the plaintiffs’ fraudulent claims against McDonald’s failed to prove that the supposed fraud caused them their injuries and damages. 23 However, Judge Robert Sweet stated that some of the arguments brought up in the case could be compelling if addressed in more depth, including the allegation that the processing of McDonald’s food makes it more dangerous than a customer would have reason to expect. 24 Judge Sweet stated, “If plaintiffs were able to flesh out this argument in an amended complaint, it may establish that the dangers of McDonald’s products were not commonly well known and thus that McDonald’s had a duty towards its customers. 25 The Pelman case brings up a growing topical social issue that Judge Sweet poses, “Where should we draw the line between an individual’s own responsibility to take care of herself and society’s responsibility to ensure others shield her?” 26

Advertising plays a large role in behaviors and daily routine.27 Samuel Hirsch, the plaintiffs’ lawyer on the Pelman case called McDonald’s food “Physically or psychologically addictive…the effects of its food on people’s health are a very insipid, toxic kind of thing…Young individuals are not in a position to make a choice after the onslaught of advertising and promotions.”28 The environmental factors that lead to obesity analyzed in the Pelman case were obvious: over consumption of fast food, simple carbohydrates, soda, or other high calorie, high fat foods; larger portion sizes, and a lack of consumption of whole foods and vegetables.29 In a Natural News article, Jessica Rampton explains, “What may be underlying all of these factors or at the very least exacerbating the issue is children and media.” 30 Children are influenced by the programming and advertising they spend many hours each day watching on television.31 According the the Kaiser Family Foundation, young children are not able to determine the difference between programming content and advertising.32 Rampton’s article states, “The United States Congress, The Children’s Television Act of 1990, reports, that by the time a typical American child is 18-years of age, he or she will have spent between 10,000 and 15,000 hours watching television and will have been exposed to more than 200,000 commercials.33 One research study also documents that obesity in children increases the more hours they watch television.” 34

First Lady, Michelle Obama, has launched the comprehensive initiative, Let’s Move! to help combat the problem of obesity. 35 The goal of the action plan is to reduce the childhood obesity rate by five percent by the year 2030 – which is the same rate before the widespread obesity issue began to grow in the late 1970s. 36 The Let’s Move! website provides several proactive ways to promote healthy lifestyles and guides for parents, educators, and children that are found under the “Take Action” section of the website, listing five simple steps to success for families, schools, and communities 37 Under the “Learn The Facts” section of the webpage, the site states, “Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled… and nearly one in every three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40 percent of the children are overweight or obese.” 38

Let’s Move! juxtaposes today’s lifestyle choices to those of thirty years ago, when kids walked to and from school every day, participated in gym class, and played outside for hours before dinner. Thirty years ago meals were home-cooked, portion sizes were appropriate, and snacking and junk food was only an occasional treat. 39 Today, parents are busier than ever, kids are driven to and from school, after school sports programs are cut, and children’s free time is spent inside watching television, playing video games, or on their computers – and snacking is always part of this routine. 40 The Let’s Move! website also states that children ages eight to eighteen years old spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. 41

The Partnership for a Healthier America works with Let’s Move by encouraging, tracking, and promoting their partner organizations’ commitments to healthier lifestyles. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) works alongside the Federal government to build target industry-specific solutions to fight obesity that can be measured and tracked.42 Members of the PHA include: All-Clad, Brown’s Super Stores, The Fresh Grocer, Hyatt Hotels, Kaiser Permaente, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, YMCA and many others. 43 Part of the responsibility that comes with being a member of the Partnership for a Healthier America, is to provide consumers with healthy options of products and allow them to make responsible life choices when choosing food items. Wal-Mart vows, as a member of the PHA, to make healthier choices more affordable for consumers and will save customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to dramatically reducing or eliminating the price premium on foods that are healthier for consumers. 44 Wal-Mart is also developing strict criteria for the front-of-package seals on its products that will enable consumers to instantly identify truly healthier food options while quickly moving through aisles. 45

Other big business companies are changing their company’s image, but not for the same reasons as the members of the PHA. Andrew Buncombe’s article in the New Zealand Herald covers a story on the food industry lawsuits that had become popular in the United States. He writes, “Kraft said yesterday [July 3, 2003] that it would overhaul its products around the world to make them less unhealthy, and many other food firms are following suit.”46 When asked why Kraft was cutting back on the fat, vice-president of communications, Michael Mudd, said, “Why we are doing it is that it is right for the people who use our products and right for us. Sure, if along the way it prevents people bringing lawsuits, we are favorable to that.”47 Other food firms are following Kraft in taking percautions and getting healthy. McDonald’s took heat after the Pelman case and suffered  severe quarterly losses in 2003 and saw expansions slow.48 To promote new healthy food choices, McDonald’s has been promoting a new range of salads. In the summer of 2003, McDonald’s began its trial Happy Meal alternatives, which provided customers with a new option of fresh sliced fruit as a side order that could replace an order of french fries. 49

Healthy options are not always available to everyone. More than 31 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program and more than 12 million participate in the School Breakfast Program.50 These children do not have the liberty to pick out their meals, nor do their parents. Not many people know big name providers of public school lunches. One large company that supplies many schools across the United States with their school lunches is Dominos Pizza.51 Dominos serves its “Smart Slice” in schools, replacing reheated frozen pizza with whole grain flour in its crust, mozzarella cheese with half the fat of a typical pizza, and less salt.Local franchises make the pizzas each day and deliver them to the schools. 52 Dominos created the Smart Slice in response to the new federal law, passed in December 2010 – the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. 53

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requires more whole grains, fruits, fat-free and low-fat milk, vegetables and less saturated fat and salts, to be present in school meals, based on recommendations released by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine.54 Nationwide, Domino’s nutritionally upgraded pizza is now in about 300 school districts in 31 states. 55 Some say that meeting the new USDA guidelines, like Domino’s Smart Slice, is not an appropriate measure to judge the nutritional value of food. Michele Simon, a public health attorney and author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, states, “The guidelines are out of step with science due to the influence of the meat and dairy industries. Food can meet the guidelines, but common sense will tell you that eating Domino’s pizza everyday is not good for you.” 56

Harold Goldstein, the executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy notes, “It’s very confusing for kids. They don’t know the difference between the pizza they get at school and the franchise down the street… Schools should be a safe marketing-free zone, especially for products that have a parallel product sold off campus that can contribute to obesity.” 57 As the amount of media children consume continues to increase, so does children’s exposure to advertising and food marketing. 58 The federal government has taken several steps to help improve the media environment for our children and promote healthier lifestyles, such as the collaborative work efforts of the FCC and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity.59

In 2010 a report titled, “Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation” was released, and the Commission worked closely with the FTC, the FDA and the HHS in the food marketing section of the report. Some of the recommendation cited in the report instructed that,

All media and entertainment companies should limit the licensing of their popular characters to food and beverages that are healthy and consistent with nutrition standards; the food and entertainment industries should jointly adopt meaningful, uniform nutrition standards for marketing food and beverages to children, as well as a uniform standard for what constituted marketing to children; and if voluntary efforts to limit the marketing of unhealthy foods to children do not help, the FCC should consider revisiting and modernizing rules on commercial time permitted during children’s programming  60

        In a study performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation of Menlo Park, California regarding children, the hours spent watching television and its correlation to obesity rates, and snacking, produced startling results. Children are strongly influenced by advertisements promoting food and drinks, and 72 percent of all children’s advertisements are for candy, cereal and fast food. 61

Even classroom-featured advertisements on local news channels promote these messages, and candy, soft drinks, fast foods and snacks are displayed in seven of every ten advertisements. 62 The Kaiser Foundation notes that advertisements strongly influence the buying habits of families. Three out of four requests for grocery items made by children were for products seen in an advertisement on television. 63 Advertisements, particularly containing messages from the food industry, make strong impacts on children; daily behaviours have shifted societal norm, and have greatly impacted the lives of children physically and psychologically. Upon summation of research, conclusions may be drawn.

Analysis:

The obesity epidemic is growing tremendously. The First Lady has called for action, stating that this generation, if ignored, might be the first to be less healthy than their parents. The Federal Trade Commission Act outlaws deceptive acts and practices, including false advertising, and the United States government is able to regulate advertising and commercial speech. But as the waistbands of Americans grow, does our personal responsibility disintegrate  This was a question raised several times in the early 2000s when the slew of McDonald’s court cases took place. Was McDonald’s in fact participating in deceptive advertising, resulting in severe damages to plaintiffs and causing them unfortold bodily harm due to consumption of McDonald’s’ products? Should the plaintiffs be held accountable for entering a McDonald’s and ordering food on their own free will? Does McDonald’s deceptively market their products to be more healthy than they actually are? In response to these questions, the United States government, as well as the FCC, FTC and  the United States Department of Agriculture took several steps to help Americans make healthier lifestyle choices.

In Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp, although the plaintiff’s case was dismissed, the court cited McDonald’s advertisements as selling, “Good basic nutritious food. Food that’s been the foundation of well-balanced diets for generations. And will be for generations to come.” McDonald’s also claimed that following the USDA and Health and Human Services guidelines would be “easy.” 64 However, the Pelman case notes that McDonald’s, while making such claims, failed to make its nutritional information readily available at its restaurant until the late 1980s, but this was prior to the court case of Pelman. Laws exist to protect individuals who are unable to protect themselves. The FDA exists to maintain this protection, and laws are enforced to protect nutritional content and prevent deceptive advertising; however, no law restricts consumers from making poor choices. There is no law protecting consumers against acting unwisely after obtaining information concerning a product. McDonald’s lawyer in the Pelman case stated, “Every responsible person understands what is in products such as hamburgers and fries, as well as the consequence to one’s waistline, and potentially to one’s health, of excessively eating those foods over a prolonged period of time.” 65 But does everyone know the consequences of all food ingredients?

It may be presumptuous to assume that the average American is knowledgeable in the food jargon of sugar additives and artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which can be addictive and found in many chewing gums and diet sodas.66 Some diseases and health conditions that are associated with aspartame specifically include cancer, mental disorders and degeneration of brain cells, headaches, weight gain and increased blood sugar. 67 Can McDonald’s assume that every person who drinks soft drinks in their restaurants is aware of those risks? I do not believe that is a fair standard to hold the average non-medical professional to.

The Let’s Move! website outlined the obesity situation perfectly. We are living in a completely different world today than we were 30 years ago. We are constantly bombarded with messages and noise and media at all angles and at all times of day. For children, who are unable to differentiate between a television show and an advertisement, watching television is a very naïve experience. Advertisers, specifically media in the food industry, must be held accountable for the messages they put out for children to see. Sesame Street, in 2009 announced in a press release, that the new season would star a new “Healthy Living” theme. 68 Cookie monster learns that “cookies are  a sometimes snack,” and Sesame Street works with children to help show them, through its television show and other media messages, that eating healthy and healthy life choices can be fun and easy. It is important for children to see positive change in their daily routine. If new characters are introduced on their favorite television show, like Eggplant and Zuchini on Sesame Street, children will grow more accustomed to these new foods while interpreting them as cool and fun. This type of approach needs to be used by large food companies as well.

Children are quick to pick favorite characters in television shows, and easily identify with images and kid actors displayed in commercials for fast foods and snacks and unhealthy food choices. If these same companies, brands, and food firms accomodated healthy food choices into their product lines, and slowly integrated these healthy foods with the same influential media messages they used for advertising unhealthy foods, young children would not be able to tell the difference – the only thing they will be able to tell is that they understood the message, they liked the message, and they want what was advertised.

The government has instituted protection acts against deceptive marketing and commercial speech. Consumers are protected against advertisements so that they may not create false impressions of quality, make, value, or other ways that may misrepresent the product. But in regards to children, who are not able to make decisions for themselves, and cannot tell the difference between an advertisement and content programming, the government must institute further mandatory regulations, as opposed to the voluntary, self-regulating programs mentioned above. If the First Lady is to reach her goal of preventing the spread of childhood obesity, she must force big food firms to meet set standards and requirements, to help protect children who cannot protect themselves.

Although parents should be held accountable, so should these businesses, companies and corporations. Without forced standards and regulations, which would be far more restricting than ever before, it is without a doubt necessary. As mentioned, we have never been in a situation like we are now. Thirty years ago, childhood obesity would not have been fathomed, but the laws and standards should not reflect those set thirty and fifteen years past. They should be forced and mandated to help reform and solve the problems for our future.

Endnotes

1. U.S. Constitution, amend. 1.
2. National Archives and Records Administration, s.v. “Title 16: Commercial Practices,” http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idxc=ecfr&sid=65cae844d6c2f76a2fd7060be21ba51e&rgn=div5&view=text&node=16:1.0.1.2.17&idno=16
3. CNBC Originals: One Nation, Overweight. Directed by CNBC, Senior Executive Producer Mitch Weitzner. 2010. CNBC Originals. 2012. Netflix.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Grocery Manufacturer Association, “Health & Nutrition,” Issues & Policy, http://www.gmaonline.org/issues-policy/health-nutrition/.
9. Ibid.
10. Better Business Bureau. “Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.” Advertising Review Services. http://www.bbb.org/us/childrens-food-and-beverage-advertising-initiative/.
11. Ibid.
12. Cincinnati v. Discovery Network, Inc., 507 US 410 – Supreme Court 1993
13. Ibid.
14. Federal Trade Commission Act, H.R. 2893, 103D Congress 1st Session
15. Ibid.
16. Ibid
17. Santora, Marc. “Teenagers’ Suit Says McDonald’s Made Them Obese.” New York Times, November 21, 2002. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/21/nyregion/teenagers-suit-says-mcdonald-s-made-them-obese.html.
18. Ibid.
19. Wald, Jonathan. “McDonald’s Obesity Suit Tossed.” CNNMoney, February 17, 2003. http://money.cnn.com/2003/01/22/news/companies/mcdonalds/.
20. Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp., 237 F. Supp. 2d 512 – Dist. Court, SD New York 2003
21. Frank, Theodore H. “A Taxonomy of Obesity Litigation.” UALR Law Review 28  (March 2005): 427-441. http://www.aei.org/files/2006/08/01/20060825_TedFrank_825.pdf.
22. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 US 254 – Supreme Court 1964
23. Frank, Theodore H. “A Taxonomy of Obesity Litigation.” UALR Law Review 28 (March 2005): 427-441. http://www.aei.org/files/2006/08/01/20060825_TedFrank_825.pdf.
24. Wald, Jonathan. “McDonald’s Obesity Suit Tossed.” CNNMoney, February 17, 2003. http://money.cnn.com/2003/01/22/news/companies/mcdonalds/.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. Rampton, Jessica. “How Media Drives Obesity in Children and Simple Counter Tactics.” Natural News. Last modified November 28, 2008. http://www.naturalnews.com/024935_child_children_obesity.html.
28. Wald, Jonathan. “McDonald’s Obesity Suit Tossed.” CNNMoney, February 17, 2003. http://money.cnn.com/2003/01/22/news/companies/mcdonalds/.
29. Ibid.
30. Rampton, Jessica. “How Media Drives Obesity in Children and Simple Counter Tactics.” Natural News. Last modified November 28, 2008. http://www.naturalnews.com/024935_child_children_obesity.html.
31. Ibid.
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid.
34. Ibid.
35. Let’s Move, “Learn the Facts,” Let’s Move, http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity.
36. Ibid.
37. Ibid.
38. Ibid.
39. Ibid.
40. Ibid.
41. Ibid.
42. Ibid.
43. Ibid.
44. Partnership for a Healthier America. “Our Partners.” Partnership for a Healthier America. http://www.ahealthieramerica.org/#!/our-partners.
45. Ibid.
46. Ibid.
47. Buncombe, Andrew. “Food Giant Healthy and Lawsuit-Free.” NZ Herald (Washington), July 3, 2003. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfmc_id=2&objectid=3510645.
48. Ibid.
49. Ibid.
50. Ibid.
51. Let’s Move, “Learn the Facts,” Let’s Move, http://www.letsmove.gov/healthy-schools
52. CNBC Originals: One Nation, Overweight. Directed by CNBC, Senior Executive Producer Mitch Weitzner. 2010. CNBC Originals. 2012. Netflix.
53. Ibid.
54. Frey, Susan. “Domino’s Responds to Call for a Healthier School Lunch.” EdSource Extra! . Last modified September 14, 2011. https://www.edsource.org/extra/2011/dominos-responds-to-call-for-a-healthier-school-lunch/1230.
55. Ibid.
56. Ibid.
57. Ibid.
58. Ibid.
59. FCC. “Parent’s Place, Media and Childhood Obesity.” Reboot.  http://reboot.fcc.gov/parents/media-and-childhood-obesity.
60. Ibid.
61. Ibid.
62. Lallanilla, Marc. “Obesity Among Kids: A Media Problem?” ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Living/story?id=118227&page=1#.T-zBTCtYvis.
63. Ibid.
64. Ibid.
65. Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp., 237 F. Supp. 2d 512 – Dist. Court, SD New York 2003
66. Wald, Jonathan. “McDonald’s Obesity Suit Tossed.” CNNMoney, February 17, 2003. http://money.cnn.com/2003/01/22/news/companies/mcdonalds/.
67. Gelb, Aurora. “Aspartame Withdrawal and Side Effects Explained.” Natural News.
Last modified March 2, 2012. http://www.naturalnews.com/035126_aspartame_side_effects_withdrawal.html.
68. Carter, Chelsea J. “Cookie Monster Changes His Tune.” CBS News, February 11, 2009. http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-207_162-686684.html.

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