WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced legislation today that would close a tax loophole that allows companies to claim a tax deduction for marketing unhealthy food products to children. The bill would not affect a company’s ability to market any food product it chooses to any audience, but it would stop the current practice of taxpayers subsidizing some of those marketing practices.
“The epidemic of childhood obesity harms both the health and quality of life for today’s kids. Even as adult obesity doubled in recent years, we saw childhood obesity triple. According to the group Mission Readiness, roughly a quarter of the young Americans deemed unfit for the armed services are unfit because they are overweight or obese. Clearly we must act.
“Addressing the complex issues underlying this epidemic will require a multi-faceted approach, and this bill is one piece of that approach. Taxpayers should not continue to subsidize a tax loophole that allows companies to deduct expenses for marketing unhealthy foods to kids.”
Unhealthy food products will be defined as those that are inconsistent with federal Dietary Guidelines. Those guidelines are based on the latest science and nutritional data, and are updated regularly to reflect that data.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in just one generation. Additional information may be found here.