Hindu Mommy

September 28, 2006

More junk food ads = More obese kids

Filed under: Kids,Parenting — hindumommy @ 10:46 pm

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to study links between the marketing campaigns for food targeted at children 12 and under and the rise of childhood obesity.


Yes, of course, kids are going to eat more junk food if they see their favorite cartoon character munching down sugary cereal or candy.

More junk food, more TV time, less time for exercise = more obese kids.

Granted that junk food ads are not the sole reason for the growing obesity in this country, BUT Do we really need a study on the link between junk food ads and increasing obesity in kids?

I’m sure the study will provide some statistical data but how much are numbers going to help? Do we want to wait for some study numbers to come out before we realize that there is a problem?

FCC Chairman Martin cited reports that

The average child watches 2 to 4 hours of TV per day and views about 40,000 TV ads every year, most of them for cereal, candy, toys and fast food.

Kids cannot tell the difference between what’s real and what’s marketing¬†– They don’t care if Sponge Bob or Scooby Doo are peddling food with close to zero nutritional value. If it’s good enough for Sponge Bob, it’s good for them

American companies spend about $15 billion a year marketing and advertising to children under age 12.

I know that most TV channels don’t want to loose the ad revenue but how about Sponge Bob talks about broccoli or celery for atleast a quarter of the time that he shills for sugary cereal.

For more news on the FCC article, go here.



  1. I don’t watch cable anymore. I eat wayyy less junk food now, just munching on a few fries and organic cheese puffs here and there. I bikeride and walk everywhere usually. I eat a satvic, lactovegan diet that consists of half of what I eat more or less to be organic.

    My body mass may still be on the large side, but at least I am healthier, getting leaner, and more fit noneless.

    Comment by Daijinryuu — October 1, 2006 @ 5:13 am | Reply

  2. I believe we cannot just blame the junk food commercials for this epidemic of childhood obesity. Isn’t it the parents’ job to instill good habits (eating and otherwise) in their kids? My daughter watches TV and see these commercial and of course, wants everything that is advertised. We sit down with her regularly an explain (and re-explain) the importance of eating healthy food, and that of maintaining a balance between the junk and healthy food that one eats. We buy her some junk food that she wants with one promise from her – for every junk food item she eats, she will eat two healthy foods. It is ultimately up to the parents to mold their kids eating habits at an early age no matter how bad external influence is – the influence will always be there. We just have to train their minds to think better.

    Comment by gettingtherenow — October 1, 2006 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  3. @Gettingtherenow:
    Agree with you….can’t solely blame junk food commercials as i’ve also stated in the article

    Granted that junk food ads are not the sole reason for the growing obesity in this country

    i believe kids are more susceptible to this type of “brain washing” and it’s getting harder on the parents to sustain their efforts against efforts
    i also agree with you that the external influence will always be there – i just want corporations to be more responsible and govt to spend less money on these studies
    btw, i admire your efforts (we also try to eat healthy and try to limit junk food consumption by not having any at home but the kids still get tempted sometimes when we go grocery shopping – i **LOVE** ur one junk/ two healthy foods idea)

    Comment by hindumommy — October 1, 2006 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

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