January 24, 2006

Responsibility? Me??

From the annals of "I'm Helpless to Turn Off the Tube" and/or "Those Big Companies Have Power Over Me": Junk-food suit targets Nickelodeon, Kellogg.

Advocacy groups and parents are suing the Nickelodeon TV network and cereal maker Kellogg Co. in an effort to stop junk food marketing to kids.

The plaintiffs are citing a recent report documenting the influence of marketing on what children eat. Ads aimed at kids are mostly for high-calorie, low-nutrition food and drinks, according to the government-chartered Institute of Medicine.

Wakefield, Massachusetts, mother Sherri Carlson said she tries her best to get her three kids to eat healthy foods.

"But then they turn on Nickelodeon and see all those enticing junk-food ads," Carlson said. "Adding insult to injury, we enter the grocery store and see our beloved Nick characters plastered on all those junky snacks and cereals."

And you just can't say "NO," right Sherri? You can't put your foot down to your kids' desires, can you? You cannot have a chat with them about those Nick commercials, and educate them about a balanced diet, eh?

Good God.

A food industry-backed group defended the companies, saying the lawsuit assumes that parents can't turn off televisions, have no control over the food they buy and can't make their kids go outside to play.

Um, heLLOOO? Exactly!

I'm thinking back to my kid days in the 70s, and if TV and the grocery store were really all that different from today in terms of marketing to the kid audience. I really don't think they were. But y'know what? We had parents that put their feet down. We had parents that knew how to say "no." We had parents that put balanced meals in front of our faces and made us eat what was on the friggin' plate.

No, there wasn't the Internet or realistic video games (hey, there was "Pong"!) to keep us all sedentary for huge portions of the day. This is where a thing called "parenting" comes in handy: Set limits on computer and video game use. Get the kiddies into sports and play. Y'know, common sense things that parents are supposed to do ...

Posted by Hube at January 24, 2006 08:53 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

IN one of the schools I sub at, Spongebob is plastered on the individually-wrapped bags of carrots students eat. Why aren't the parents complaining of that?


Posted by: Mike M. at January 24, 2006 10:06 PM

Away back in the late 60's we had the goods and marketing but rememberhow limited the TV was.
Three channels for entertainment, chanel 12 and a few VHS Philly locals thrown in did not consume and eat away a kids time and attention like the myriad of cable offerings today.

Posted by: Nancy Willing at January 25, 2006 07:41 PM

When will we realize we need to license and register both users and producers of harmful products and services? There should be a three day "cooling off" period for sugary snack purchases. We should limit users to 1 purchase a month and buyers should also have to take a state-run nutrition course to ensure they know how to safely, properly use these snacks. We can't run the risk of choking or excessive twinkie consumption. Once the snacks are purchased, they should be required to locked in a safe so the children won't have unsupervised access to them. If not, we run the risk of diabetic shock or even death. Won't someone PLEASE, think of the children!?

Posted by: Dubh at January 26, 2006 09:08 AM

Dubh is right! President Bush himself has shown us the dangers pretzels can pose, even to the most experienced eater.

Posted by: G Rex at January 26, 2006 04:57 PM

TeeHee, that is a hoot there y'all
But between the pretzel and the safe there is a grain of sugary truth to the idea that marketing of goods to children (from electornic games to fast food) is leading to obesity and it is a global problem in direct relation to kids responding to what we pump out at them.
From Mexico to China not only the kids but society at large is getting larger and so otherwise less healthy...and there is an associated expense to this for healthcare costs.

Posted by: Nancy Willing at January 27, 2006 08:23 PM

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