Well isn’t this convenient?

Last week Wednesday, in a big ballyhooed news conference, the National Restaurant Association announced a new program called “Kids Live Well,” intended to highlight meals and items that are healthier for kids. A meal (entree, side, beverage) earning the distinction would have less than than 770 mg of sodium and less than 600 calories, no more than 35% from fat.

Then on Thursday — just one day later and certainly more quietly — the association issued public comments calling for the withdrawal of proposed federal guidelines on marketing products to children under 17. The reason: “the principles could eliminate the marketing of healthful options to kids and adolescents.”

Can the timing be any more transparent? Dear regulators: We just introduced this great program;  you no doubt have heard about it from all the media coverage. If you push these guidelines on us, we won’t be able to tell kids all about this healthy food we want to serve them.

Uh right. I can see the companies all calling their ad agencies now and telling them to put a hold on the television commercials touting the grilled chicken entree with apple slices and skim milk.

Come on, get real. Marketing unhealthy items to children was a concern with cigarettes, and given the rise in obese children and Type 2 Diabetes, some restrictions on marketing to children are necessary.