Kids' Obesity Problems Go Beyond Television

Cut back on a diet of fast-food commercials for kids, and you'll be cutting back on their weight. How about cutting back on their parents' influence as well?

A new study says a complete fast-food ad ban on children's programming would reduce the number of overweight children aged 3 to 11 by 18%, and for 12- to 18-year-olds by 14%.

Yet kids can be subjected to a lot of influence -- not all of it from TV messages.

For example, while at a recent meeting at my daughter's pre-school, I watched as a parent came in the door, dropped off her child, and, while departing, announced to the director, "Oh, yeah. I left some donuts on the table for the kids' breakfast this morning. I guess they'll be a little pumped-up today."

It's not just kids who watch TV food ads; it's their parents who watch food commercials -- and who also have bad food habits.

You can blame television as well as crazy marketers like McDonald's, now saying its French fries are good for you. But blame parents as well.



It's not just about fast food -- it's about food. Period.

A ban on TV food advertising wouldn't be bad. But where do you stop? What about a ban on adult frozen food ads; beer commercials -- along with a liquor ban; and commercails for candy bars (now called health or power bars)? I'm sure there are folks who will show you 93-year-olds who smoke and are perfectly healthy.

One thing for sure: One pre-school in Los Angeles will have some stale, uneaten donuts on the table this week.

1 comment about "Kids' Obesity Problems Go Beyond Television ".
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  1. Walter Graff from Bluesky Media, November 26, 2008 at 8:44 a.m.

    What a bunch of crap. Last I looked french fry grease wasn't pouring from my TV set as my kid watched a McDonalds commercials. I have two kids. Both watch TV. Both see McDonalds ads. Neither eats McDonalds. Why? Because I don't take them to McDonalds. The problem isn't the TV but the parents. With or without TV, people go to Mcdonalds. Stripping TV of McDonalds commercials will do nothing but leave a void to fill in ad space. The same folks that took their kids to McDonalds will still do it. And that is the obesity problem, not showing someone a commercial.

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