(May 8) Two government agencies released a report May 2 calling for advertisers to market healthier food to children, but they stopped short of calling for legislation.

“I am disappointed that the report makes only recommendations, without imposing any requirements on an industry largely out of control,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said on his Web site.

The report released by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services was a product of their joint workshop last year on childhood obesity, which has tripled among adolescents since 1980.

The report recommended that food companies take the following actions:

  • Create healthier products and alter existing products to make them healthier.

  • Offer smaller portions and single-serving packages.

  • Clearly label low-calorie and nutritious foods.

  • Improve the nutritional content of foods marketed to children and foods sold in schools.

  • Educate consumers about nutrition and fitness.