There's a lot of chatter about government involvement in what we eat and the foods and beverages our families have access to. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made headlines by trying to limit the size of sodas available to the citizens of New York City, and school lunch programs across the country have been roundly criticized for serving foods with high fat content and for in-school placement of vending machines loaded with soft drinks and sugary snacks.
A growing number of food and drink companies frequently market their products in schools.
Of course we all want healthy choices available to us and to our children, but that's exactly where the discussion starts. It should be less about the marketing and more about parents teaching kids to make better choices.
Now the federal government has decided to approach this debate from another angle and is considering greater restrictions in 2014 on foor marketing to kids. Companies that advertise foods that parents buy for their children may be facing tougher guidelines on what they can say about their products and even on where they can say it. Companies certainly do some of their advertising with kids in mind, hopeful that the children will nag their parents into buying the products. And it's complicated, considering that most children go to schools that already have long-standing partnerships with food and drink companies in place.
Lost in all of this is the basic fact that parents and guardians must teach their kids about healthy choices. And responsible adults must also know when to say "no."