Will America Become a Junk Food Nanny State?

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Photo: iStockphoto

The other week, we wondered aloud if the city had turned into a nanny state: food trucks, porn stores, pub crawls, and public cheese-cutting (jokes in the comments, please) are all endangered here in NYC. And yet, out in the rest of the country, companies are being forced to tone down their junk-food advertising to kids. And now Republicans are saying that the new guidelines which are voluntary are, according to CBS News, "the latest example of 'nanny state' overreach by the federal government that could cost money and jobs."

The reasoning for the guidelines, which call for companies to only advertise "healthy" food to kids, is that youngsters are totally incapable of resisting the charms of mascots like Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, and the Kool-Aid Man. And because the country is becoming a big bunch of fat-asses, companies should exercise a little responsibility when advertising food that is basically devoid of any actual nutrition. Or, alternatively, they could just make their food a little healthier but we all know where that would lead.

Anyway, now the GOP is urging the FTC to look more closely at the guidelines before adopting them. Georgia Republican Representative Jack Kingston sums it up nicely: "If [advocates for the guidelines] have seriously evidence about the dangers of Fruit Loops, they need to present that to us."

And yet, it's worth noting again that the guidelines are voluntary, so as much as Kellogg says it will look into them, it's a safe bet that they won't. Besides, we all know junk food is where the money's at.

GOP decries "nanny state" push on junk food ads [CBS News]