Debate: Should junk food ads be banned from kids’ TV?

  If you're wondering why your kids are always drawn to the least healthy foods imaginable, just look at the packaging and advertising that's associated with them. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, food marketing intentionally targets children who are too young to distinguish advertising from truth and induces them to eat high-calorie, […]

childwatchingtv

 

If you’re wondering why your kids are always drawn to the least healthy foods imaginable, just look at the packaging and advertising that’s associated with them.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, food marketing intentionally targets children who are too young to distinguish advertising from truth and induces them to eat high-calorie, low-nutrient (but highly profitable) junk foods.

Not only that, but cartoon characters that represent a particular food actually make that food taste better to children, according to a 2006 study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

If your kid is a fan of Disney however, you’re in luck. Mickey Mouse and the gang haven’t been allowed to represent junk food since 2006. That means your child isn’t associating those iconic characters with bad-for-you foods.

Well, maybe not directly.

If the same unhealthy foods the characters aren’t allowed to represent are still being advertised on commercial breaks during kids’ TV shows and on kid-friendly websites, kids are more likely to identify and remember the associated product (not a good thing if that product happens to be a glorified bowl of white sugar).

Luckily, Disney is now cutting advertising for foods that fail to meet minimum nutrition requirements during children’s programming and on its kid-focused websites.

But is that enough? Minimum nutrition requirements don’t necessarily equal optimum health. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use the power of branding to promote the healthiest foods possible?

The childhood obesity epidemic in North America is at an all-time high, with 26 percent of Canadian children and nearly a third of U.S. children being overweight or obese.

By continuing to allow marketing of these foods to children, are we setting them up for failure?

What do you think? Should junk food advertising be banned from children’s television?

Related
Debate: Will banning school bake sales help fight childhood obesity?
News: Disney closes anti-obesity exhibit
Debate: Is a 20 percent tax on unhealthy foods the key to ending obesity?

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy

marathon-running

Best Health Wire: The top stories from around the web on our radar this week

Trans fatYou’re eating more than you think. ‘ TIMEALS Ice Bucket ChallengeWhy it might be bad for you. ‘ Maclean’sDiabetes and distressThe link between the disease and emotional distress. ‘ The Toronto StarThe e-cigarette debateWhy WHO thinks indoor use should be banned. ‘ The Globe and MailReworking memoryIt’s not just science fiction anymore. ‘ The […]

HODC_48.2_ChickenNoodleSoup

Chicken noodle soup

This is one of the simplest soups to make with wonderful exotic flavours provided by lemon grass, coconut, ginger and chili pepper. The addition of thin noodles makes it quick and easy to prepare in one pot.

front1_1

The worst Halloween treats you can eat

What would Halloween be without sweet treats and junk food? But some goodies are more nightmarish for your health than others. Here are the worst Halloween treats you can eat’and some healthier alternatives