The products include juices, dairy, grains, soups and meals. The companies will limit the amount of calories, sugar, sodium and saturated fat allowed in foods promoted to children.
About one-third of all food and drinks aimed at children will have to change or the companies cannot advertise them after December 31, 2013. The news standards apply to all companies that participate.
In April, the government proposed restrictions on food advertising. Officials welcomed the new plan as a good compromise.
Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz said, “The proposed industry standards are a significant advance.” A food industry spokesperson said “…our proposal is a really good roadmap leading to further improvements in foods.”
A critic of the changes said they did not go far enough. Despite past efforts, “seventy-two percent of the foods in television advertising to children are in the poorest nutritional category.”