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What does your Nutrition Ad say to your child?

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

There has been a great deal of press over a new study released this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research claiming that a US ban on fast food advertisements during children's TV time would reduce the number of overweight children. According to the study, it would reduce childhood obesity by:

  • by  18% for 3 to 11 years olds
  • by 14% for 12 to 18 years olds
The study calculated this by measuring the number of weekly hours of fast food advertising and found a definitive link between these TV ads and the incidence of childhood obesity. The study goes on to discuss how the government could deter these ads by  eliminating the business expense or essentially the write off for any companies producing a fast food ad aimed at children. This would make these ads more costly and therefore, deter companies from creating them (at least lower the number of ads made- by an estimated 40% for the kids and 33% for the teenagers).

But I want to say, whether the government bans fast food ads (which given policy, lobbyist etc would take a while to occur, if ever!) we parents really need to realize that WE are the biggest food commercial a child sees everyday.

Yes, we are marketing our food/nutrition ideas consciously or unconsciously to our children. So, I ask you, "What type of commercial are you being for your child?"

Are you a commercial about the fun of healthy eating and being active?

Are you a commercial about how busy the day is so let's grab something quick and easy, like fast food?

Are you a commercial that says, "Eat your vegetables! or I will be very mad"?

Are you a commercial that says, "Try some, see, mmmm, it tastes so good"?

I could go on and on. The reality is you are probably a combination of a variety of messages, some positive and some, well, not so positive.

My point is to that Parents, You are the Commercial that plays constantly at all hours of the day to your child. You send the biggest message and have the most influence.

And the great news, you can edit your commercial right now.





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