Changing the Food Marketing Environment Through Policy and Standards

Session Track: Weight Management
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012; 12:40 – 1:40 p.m.

Session Description:

The May 2010 White House Childhood Obesity Task Force (COTF) plan outlines a national strategic plan to address the obesity epidemic involving individuals and organizations in the socio-ecological framework.  The food industry has been identified as a contributing factor for public health problems due to its marketing approaches. Processors, advertisers, communicators, and policymakers who have been cited as culprits, are dedicated to significantly changing the public health landscape, and helping consumers make healthier choices. The panelists in this session will describe their organizations’ initiatives to change the food marketing environment through research recommendations and new voluntary nutrition and marketing standards designed to improve consumer adherence to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

Speaker Information:

Robert Post, Ph.D., Deputy Director, USDARobert Post
Dr. Robert C. Post is the Deputy Director of USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). As the senior administrative official in the Agency, he is an advisor to the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, representing the Department in all matters related to nutrition policy and guidance. The two primary objectives of CNPP are to advance and promote dietary guidance for all Americans, and to conduct applied research and analysis in nutrition and consumer economics. In this position, Dr. Post is responsible for overseeing the planning, development, review, and promotion of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the MyPyramid food guidance system, and programs including the Healthy Eating Index, the USDA Food Plans, and the cost of raising a child. He joined CNPP with more than 25 years of dedicated experience in creating innovative promotional and outreach programs that help Americans make small steps toward improved dietary behaviors where they shop, work, play, and prepare foods. Dr. Post holds a doctorate degree in Public Health.


Elaine Kolish, J.D., Vice President, Council of Better Business BureausElaine Kolish
Ms. Kolish, Vice President & Director, Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, is a nationally recognized expert on advertising and consumer-protection issues. Ms. Kolish most recently was a partner at the national law firm Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP, where she specialized in counseling national advertisers on advertising and marketing compliance.  Prior to joining Sonnenschein, she spent 25 years at the Federal Trade Commission and held several positions, ultimately serving as head of the Division of Enforcement in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. She has worked extensively on national advertising matters and led the Bureau's regulatory review efforts, as well as a number of other key policy initiatives including the Class Action Fairness Monitoring Project and the Hispanic consumer-protection program.


Linda Meyers, Ph.D., Director, Food and Nutrition Board Dr. Meyers is the Director of the Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board.  She is responsible for all research studies, including those on marketing to kids.