Kids' TV Advertisers: The Message In And Out Of Your Mouth

You may believe that poor people are the thinnest people around, especially when little money equals less food. For the really indigent -- especially in non-developed countries -- this can still be the case.


But for those richer countries (especially the U.S.), the modern developed world yields heavier humans. That's what 21h century food manufacturing can do for you: fast-food is cash-easy.

The downside is always about health -- especially among our younger  citizens. In this regard, a couple of Congressional representatives want to start up more legislation to curtail  food marketing to kids on TV shows.

Advertising supporters are already calling this -- what else? -- a violation of free speech. As usual, though, marketing executives aren't focusing on the right direction: It isn't about the stuff (words) that leave one's mouth; it's about the stuff that goes in.



Food makers turning a blind eye to what's going on in the TV world should get another optical examination.

Here's another secret: It isn't necessarily about the quality of food -- it's about quantity, as well. Tons of whole-wheat, sugar-free, gluten-free, preservative-free (and yes, maybe taste-free) food can still make  people overweight.

If the world expects food balance in citizens, this balance should show itself  on TV. This would mean kids' programmers should be required to run one sugary juice box ad directly followed by a Bally's Fitness ad. For every cheese -aden snack, there should be a commercial with images of someone riding a bike or running.

It's a mixed message but a good one: energy in, energy out. U.S. consumers need balance. So do kids' TV programmers and their sponsors.

4 comments about "Kids' TV Advertisers: The Message In And Out Of Your Mouth ".
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  1. Elaine Locke from DG FastChannel, November 17, 2009 at 1:22 p.m.

    If we talk about balance, then we need to the include the message that food is important and good choices can be made. My 6 and 8 year old girls hear all the concern about obesity and translate that into not eating. The teachers/media all seem to just say - don't get fat. Don't eat what you see on TV and in restaurants. Exercise. I worry about anorexia/bulemia when these girls and their friends get older because the message is not balanced at all.

    PS - Fitness chain advertising for the pre-teenage crowd would not be very effective since they can not use those facilities.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, November 17, 2009 at 2:34 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be great if Big Government would force us all to, well, behave? Welcome to the slippery slope of the nanny state. I think Reagan said it best, "Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."

    I have fond memories of all those nutritionist-designed lunch menus of my youth, and all the food we didn't want to eat simply thrown away. It's hard to regulate away freedom.

  3. Aaron B. from, November 17, 2009 at 3:59 p.m.

    Just another muddy layer in a never-ending argument.

    We're already to the point where it's difficult to market restaurant foods to children. Some soft drink manufacturers have been completely removed themselves from some networks. Even cereal, whose sugar content can exceed 35% or 40%, is getting the call from some as inappropriate food marketed toward children...

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 17, 2009 at 5:26 p.m.

    Nothing is free. Freedom is not free. This article is a perfect example. The public will be paying for healthcare or lack thereof for the perpetual influence of poor food intake. Also, parents/guardians -V-chip for ads? - need to be held responsible for household and restaurant choices since they pay and take a better look at themselves. Monkey see, monkey do. I could really use a Melrose Diner cake with butter cream icing right now, but....

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