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Reuters reports that US Surgeon General Richard Carmona told an advertising conference last week that food companies and their advertising agencies should be responsible for voluntarily promoting healthy eating habits, as opposed to new federal regulations that force the companies to label their products.

Carmona also said that voluntary moves by the food companies are preferable to lawsuits that attempt to hold the companies responsible and hit them with financial penalties.

McDonald’s announcement last week that it will sell a new adult Happy Meal – which will include a salad, bottled water, and a pedometer – is cited as an example of voluntary movement.
KC's View:
On the other hand, we think there is a pretty good argument that McDonald’s wouldn’t had done anything if there weren’t a public outcry about the obesity issue and the threat of legal action.

Maybe it depends on how you define “voluntary.”