Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Shady World of Marketing Junk Food To Kids

I think this is a must read article for anyone who's a parent, grandparent or plans to be one. 

For anyone out there claiming that we don't need any legislation regarding advertising to children, consider this:

Marketers use sophisticated child psychology to help children leverage "pester power," effectively nagging their parents to buy them the desired item (and often playing on parents' guilt for not having enough time to spend with their children).
 The article also discusses that while watching TV and childhood obesity is linked, it's ONLY linked when there are commercials for junk food.  If there are no junk food commercials, then there is no effect on children's waistlines.  It also points out that self-regulation is a failure, with most of the cereals being banned from advertising in the UK, where they do have laws regulating what can and can not be advertised to kids.

As a parent, I have taken a stand against junk food in my house.  I don't claim to be a purest, but my kids don't drink soda, and sugary cereals are a rare treat.   However, there are many parents who, frankly, don't have the stamina or desire to stand up to their kids, and we do have a national crisis going on here.   It's time to put junk food in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol and limit when and where they can be advertised.

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