Harmful Effects of Food Advertising on Young Children
A significant percentage of the food industry advertising budget is directed toward our children. After all, if you can hook them and cause them to become addicted while they are young, then chances are that companies will have a customer for life. The food that our children are served in school cafeterias is rarely of the quality that it should be, and the contracts to supply those cafeterias are normally held by big players in the industry.
The ban on tobacco advertising resulted in a 50% reduction in high school smokers over 20 years. Is it not time that the advertising of high-sugar foods to our kids be banned as well? In fact, legislation pertaining to advertising to children is not as strict as advertising to adults. It is in our children that we are seeing the fastest rise in obesity levels, particularly in poorer communities. Several attempts to ban or reduce advertising targeting young people have been overturned. The lobby groups in the food industry know where their long-term client base lies.
Type 2 diabetes used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, but that term became outdated when an increasing number of young children began to become obese. Doctors understand the methods used to treat diabetes in adults, but treating this new young and obese generation will take them into unchartered territory as they now begin treating people over nearly the entire course of their lives.
As parents, you should make sure to keep your kids as far from those unhealthy foods as possible. They can have candy every so often and have other things on occasion, but it should never be every day. Starting when they are very young, you should aim to have your kids eating healthy foods. It doesn’t have to be the same five foods over and over again, but it does need to be foods that they will enjoy.
Give your children a huge variety of foods to try. Also, you should limit their exposure to ads on TV, especially when they are very young. This will keep their minds off of food that they might see on TV and only on the foods that you make for them. They will be less tempted to try something unhealthy they saw if they never saw it in the first place.
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