June 13, 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Fattening Kids And Lobbyist Wallets

Child health advocates are losing the war over school lunches and that’s because they face exceptionally strong adversaries: the food and beverage industry. While it’s pretty obvious that more vegetables and less sugar at lunch would be a good start to healthier kids, we’ve recently seen Congress declare pizza a vegetable and kill a plan to reduce sugar, salt, and fat in foods marketed to children, while 24 states and five cities have seen efforts to tax sugary drinks fail. As Reuters tells us in a recent special report on childhood obesity and lobbying, 50 different food and beverage groups have spent $175 million lobbying on childhood nutritional standards since Obama took office — more than double the  $83 million spent during the Bush Administration’s last three years.

As United Republic’s Jasper McChesney shows in the infographic below, it’s pretty evident that money has everything to do with government’s failure to help protect our kids’ health — when they need money from rich industries to campaign, they can’t effectively regulate those industries.