TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Exploitative Internet Marketing Fuels Child Obesity

Re: Exploitative Internet Marketing Fuels Child Obesity
11 Sep 2006 11:18:38 -0700

Michael Perry wrote:

> Self-regulation in food and beverage marketing is being exploited and
> is failing to curb childhood obesity, research by a global obesity
> taskforce presented on Tuesday has found.

It's easy to blame the media (and now the Internet) for social
problems, but I don't buy it.

I find that hard to believe. I question the influence of solely
advertising on obesity because: 1) all sorts of junk food has been
aggressively advertised on TV and print for 50 years yet this obesity
problem is recent and 2) they took cigarette ads off TV years ago but
smoking remained popular for a long time afterwards 3) they never
advertised hard liquor on TV but it is a growing youth problem and 4)
they don't advertise illegal drugs at all on TV but it's a problem.

I believe the modern household where both parents work full time or
there is only one parent in the house is to blame. Under those
circumstances, parents simply do not have the time nor energy to
supervise the kids' afterschool snacks or to prepare traditional
healthy dinners. They depend far more on restaurant foods which are
much fattier. They give in when the kids whine for junk food to shut
them up because they're too stressed out and tired to fight with the
kids over it.

> stricter advertising standards in traditional media,

Given the ads for sugar cereals and candy I can't believe there are any
"standards" in traditional media. So they add in the tag line "part of
a balanced breakfast"? Big deal.

> "We need to recognize that everyone in society has a responsibility to
> ensure we provide healthy environments for children," Swinburn told

Hey, I have no love for junk food manufacturers, but don't blame them
for parents who aren't doing their job. Does "everyone" include me?
So the next time I see a kid buying junk food at the store, should I
chastise him? Yell at the store for selling it to him? Watch how
fast I end up in jail. I'll get in trouble just for telling kids to
clean up after themselves while snacking in the train station shelter.

> "Small changes to urban design such as age-appropriate playground
> equipment ... could have a significant impact on overall activity
> levels across the day," she told the conference.

More garbage. Kids will play anywhere.

> Salmon said parental security and safety concerns that kept children
> at home were also limiting the physical activities of children and
> contributing to obesity.

That I do agree with. Parents are very paranoid about where their
kids go and play especially unsupervised. Is that fear justified?

Actually, the same parents ought to be checking what the heck their
kids are doing on line, what pictures they're posting on myspace and
what pers info they're sharing.

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