support a healthful diet and reward them for doing so (IOM, 2006). This approach has been taken with the National 5 a Day partnership. Analogous efforts are needed for the restaurant and food retailer sectors, as well as the entertainment, leisure, and recreation industries.
After reviewing the evidence, the committee concludes that adequate funds should be made available to support independent and periodic evaluations of industry’s progress toward making changes that support childhood obesity prevention goals. It is also important that resources be increased to support the evaluation capacity of industry, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders.
As discussed earlier in the chapter, efforts are under way to review the appropriateness and adequacy of the CARU guidelines for advertising to children. As part of the CARU review process, an industry working group has been established and is considering whether and how the industry self-regulatory guidelines should be revised. The committee supports assessment efforts of NARC, CBBB, CARU, and the companies that adhere to CARU guidelines as part of the review process. The committee also recommends an expeditious review.
Adequate funds are needed to support not only an internal review process but also independent and periodic evaluations of industry’s efforts to promote healthier lifestyles. After the recommendations have been developed, CARU and the companies will be evaluated on the basis of what they have publicly committed to and how quickly they put their public commitments into action. It is important for companies to develop their own guidelines, in addition to adhering to the CARU guidelines, because internal guidelines can facilitate the creation of an internal corporate culture that proactively protects children, whereas external guidelines may be perceived as being optional.
Given that the industry working group recommendations were not available for the committee’s review, the committee offers several areas in which revisions to the CARU guidelines would be beneficial and that deserve serious consideration. These recommendations build on the relevant recommendations in the IOM report, Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity (IOM, 2006), and are organized around specific themes relevant to marketing to children and youth and desirable evaluation outcomes (i.e., structural, institutional, and systemic outcomes) (Table 5-2). The committee recommends that Congress designate a responsible agency to conduct the periodic monitoring and evaluation of the self-regulatory guidelines of CARU. Such evaluations should include an assessment of CARU’s effectiveness, impact, and enforcement capacity. Fur-