Saturday, October 07, 2006

Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association agreement on snack foods

While we're on the topic, the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association this week also reached an agreement with food manufacturers on guidelines for snack foods in schools. As with the beverage agreement, I looked over the guidelines and my first inclination was to like them, although I defer to colleagues on the nutrition science details. Both the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Commercial Alert raised concerns.

The Washington Post reports:

Five snack food makers including PepsiCo, Mars Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. have pledged to replace Doritos and doughnuts with healthier products in school vending machines and snack bars under a voluntary agreement brokered by former resident Bill Clinton and the American Heart Association.

The agreement is the latest attempt to improve the nutritional content of food sold in schools, which has come under intense scrutiny because of rising rates of childhood

Yesterday’s agreement is modeled after one brokered by Clinton and the AHA earlier this year with Coca-Cola Co., Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes PLC to stop selling non-diet soft drinks in schools. A 2001 USDA study found 56 percent to 85 percent of children consume soft drinks on any given day.

It was unclear whether yesterday’s agreement would have the same effect as the previous pact because snack food makers do not have as much influence over how their products are distributed as soft drink makers.

Still nursing my bruises from the last such agreement, I'd like to wait and see the new products that result from this agreement.