Monday, December 19, 2005

Kids junk food advertising - and does it really have anything to do with kids getting fatter?

My answer on this on is a big fat "NO". Most of the times when my son Kenny has been exposed to loads of food that's bad for him have not been related to cute little characters advertising junk food. Instead, it's been parents bringing a big spread of massive cupcakes from Costco to daycare, with frosting half an inch thick, for their little one's birthday. Or, I go to a playgroup, and there's a huge spread of food for the kids. There may be some fruit, but there's lots of other snack food. And this is not heavily advertised stuff like Cheetos, but rather fancy snacks, frequently organic, and sold at more expensive groceries like Whole Foods and Larry's Market. Or tasty homemade cookies and cakes. So much yummy food, so much variety. All this food is not good in excess, but that's what the kids go for.

So, the answer is not to restrict advertising. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure really what the answer is to our expanding waistlines (yes, I'm a woman and can actually say "I don't know" without choking. I'll think more about it, and comment in a future blog). But restricting advertising is absolutely not going to make a dent in the obesity epidemic.

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