I think it is really important that food companies are being pressured to regulate advertisements to children and to “clean up” their products to make them healthier. Although many have added more whole grains to cereals, the sugar content in popular cereals are still extremely high. Since childhood obesity is becoming a bigger problem than before it is nice to see that they are focusing on the improvement of foods. The main problem that I see with regulating how foods are advertised to children are the need for more education to parents. Since the consumers of food are parents, I find it to be almost useless to solely focus on improving advertisements to children. The combination of advertising to parents and children the benefits of healthy eating would be the most effective way to help stop childhood obesity rather than only addressing advertisement to children.
I agree completely with Juliet. When is the last time that you saw a seven year old child buying his own groceries and cooking his own food? The focus must be on educating parents as to the severe repercussions that unhealthy eating can have on their children. I believe that it is a companies responsibility to tell the truth about the nutrition of their food products, but I believe that it is their right to advertise to whomever they choose. If the FDA approves their product for public distribution and sale then it is known that their product is safe for consumption. The problem is that people over-eat and consume less nutritious food more often then they should. Its ok to eat candy and sweets once in a while, but not everyday and not with every meal. Instead of bashing food companies for advertising to children they should spend their money on promoting exercise among our youth which will counter any adverse foods that are consumed.
I really believe we are headed in the wrong direction here. As a parent I will have plenty of issues that government regulation can help me with. The nutritional content of my child’s breakfast cereal is not one of them. I will have control over what food is in my home and available for my child to eat. If he wants to spend his allowance on McDonald’s or candy, who cares? 90% healthy food at home and 10% junk out there, That’s a good balance. Advertising is not at fault for making kids fat and regulating advertising is not going to solve the problem.
I completely agree with juliet, food companies’ ads have long needed regulation. Companies targeting children to sell thier products is irrisposible especially if the products cause harm children do not yet fully understand. I remeber mcdonalds successfully targeting my age group growing up. I would hassle my parents to take me for the happy meals until they gave in. Its unfortunate that most of the companies that heavily target children offer unhealthy products, they are only fueling the obeisity problem that has become prevalent in the country.
It would be interesting to see how i would feel about this ad tactic if the companies that employed it offered only healthy responsible options to kids. If instead of mcdonalds targeting children with unhealthy transfats, what if a company saturated tv ads with healthy foods for kids, do you think it would still be wrong?
I disagree. I’m sick of hearing people blaming companies for child obesity. It is not irresponsible for a company to increase market share in order to fulfill their responsibility to share holders. By now, the country is not blind to the fact that the US is a fat country. It is common knowledge and companies have been adjusting their recipes and advertising as a result of this awareness. Even if these adjustments are not sufficient for an entirely healthy diet, we are still aware. It seems more like it is OUR responsibility as consumers and/or parents and caretakers to choose what we and our children ingest. Let companies who can’t conform to our needs find a way to meet them or fail and disappear.
I applaud the federal government for finally implementing these new advertising guidelines because obesity has truly taken its toll on our nation’s children. We live in a world where today’s younger generation will not outlive their parents due to repulsive dietary habits that many advertisements encourage with their cute cartoons and jingles. However, these government created guidelines are meant to be “voluntary” and companies who voluntarily decide to adopt these guidelines have 5 to 10 years to fully implement them. In ten years, another generation has passed along with engrained dietary lifestyles that hazardous to one’s health. Yes, I understand that advertisers are not the only ones to blame and that parents should assume some responsibility but it begins with the advertisements. Consumers should be encouraged to eat healthy items and not lured into eating crap.
It seems as if the more and more I encounter stories such as this, it becomes increasingly difficult to take any solid stance. The most logical approach to combating the relationship that exists between major food advertisers and childhood obesity is developing and practicing a healthy balance between them. I strongly feel as if it is relatively well understood that the advertising industry (especially with regards to child-focused products), is incredibly pervasive and nearly inescapable. Exhausting your efforts to avoid potentially harming food ads would likely prove to be rather frustrating. As children continue to go public schools, attend social events, and consume media, they will forever be exposed to the advertisements for food companies that are primarily concerned with making a profit, not providing the most healthy product or option. Clearly, this is a problem, and I fully support the idea of regulating the child-targeted food industry, and the extensiveness of their advertisements. But with that being said, I feel as if the true responsibility for “regulating” what kids consume lies completely with the parents. As children, they should look to their parents for healthy habits, practices, and advice. As parents, they should continuously attempt to provide for their children the best and most beneficial options available, while monitoring the things that they consume. Despite any and all regulating efforts, the money-drive ad industry geared towards youth food favorites is not going anywhere, and neither should the guiding and protecting role of the parent. I personally hope that through awareness, an educational and healthy balance can exist.
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