Friday, August 7, 2009

kids and food ads

On a recent trip to Chicago we indulged in hotel pool-time and some real TV- the kind with commercials (currently we TIVO or only watch DVDs.)
I was amazed at how many "junk food" commercials there are during kids' programming. I guess I always knew they were there, but watching my kid watch them was another story. Almost immediately she asked for whatever was being advertised, and whined for food (even if we had just eaten.)
The Rudd Center recently published some studies about the effects of food advertising on children (and adults) and found that there was a correlation between food ads watched and amount of food consumed. (Kids ate 45% more when exposed to food ads.) They ate not just the promoted food, but more of food in general which means the ads are doing more than just creating brand loyalty.

We're back home now, and my kiddo is into Sponge Bob (which I'm hot and cold on) but find myself sprinting for the remote during commercial breaks. Its too much.

In a perfect world, there would be NO advertising of any foods, junk or not to children. Remember, its the parents' job to decide WHAT kids eat, not the kids. The advertisers count on "pester power" that children wield mercilessly (I read this term recently on another blog, but can't rememer who to give credit to...) We've all been there. Its hard enough to say no to candy, sugary cereal etc without constant pressure from the little angels.
If we can't get it off TV, consider watching only DVDs or TIVO and watch with your child so you can fast-forward. Good luck!

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