Friday, November 21, 2008

Childhood Obesity - Will This Really Help?

Have you heard about the new survey linking fast-food advertising and childhood obesity? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the study shows that a ban on fast-food advertising during children's programming would cut down the number of overweight kids ages 3-11 by 18% (and 14% for ages 12-18).

PhotobucketShin-Yi Chou of Lehigh University, one of the study's authors, said in a statement, "We have known for some time that childhood obesity has gripped our culture, but little empirical research has been done that identifies television advertising as a possible cause. Hopefully, this line of research can lead to a serious discussion about the type of policies that can curb America's obesity epidemic."

Can someone please tell me why we needed a survey to provide this useless information?

Let me tell you this Mr. Chou, it doesn't matter what kind of ads kids see on TV - no 3-year-old is driving himself to Burger King. If your 8-year-old child wants an extra-large-super-value-meal, you're going to have to take him to the fast food restaurant and buy it for him. So where does that leave us?

If parents don't buy the fast food for the kids, then the kids won't eat it. Pretty simple... and I didn't even need to do a survey.

Now I'm not knocking fast food. It definitely has its time and place. And I know that childhood obesity is a serious issue. But why do we always have to blame outside influences for everything that goes wrong in our own homes? We parents are responsible for our children, and most of the time, whatever the child wears, plays with, or eats is provided by us. Period.

So, how about we parents make a few less trips to the drive through? We'll save gas and cut down on childhood obesity at the same time!


Pamela J said...

We'll not only save gas, but the money it costs to buy it in the first place. When our two boys were growing up we didn't have the money to buy these sort of things. Neither were obese or overly thin.
Pam W

Jennifer AlLee said...

Yes, Pam, you hit on another good point! Not only is it more healthy to eat at home, it's also cheaper. And it's nice to have that family time, too.

Mag said...

Here's my take on tv ads... Why are children watching so much tv?? Is this also a part of the American dream? Is it subliminally written in the Constitution that we allow our kids unlimited and/or unsupervised access to what OTHERS want them to believe is real life?

I raised three daughters with no more than one hour of tv a night - they all had to agree on the hour and dad and I were there with 'em.

I once fostered a teen boy and the ONLY way he watched any tv was to read for the same amount of time he wanted to watch tv. (One hour tv show required one hour of reading BEFORE the show.)

As the parents WE are in control and should be able to set limits that will assist our kids in making quality, healthy choices for their own lives.

(Okay, I'm stepping down from my soapbox now...)