Interesting column today on banning food advertising on kids' programming: Jacob Sullum: Teletubbies
Here are 3 good paragraphs:
In his book "Food Fight," Yale obesity expert Kelly Brownell -- who, like Kunkel, wants to eliminate advertising to children -- says, "It is easy to blame parents." No, it's not. It is easy to blame big corporations. Blaming parents means expecting them to take an active role in monitoring their kids' diets.
As New York University nutritionist Marion Nestle, another ad banner, suggests in her book "Food Politics," that is not a popular message. "Most parents of my acquaintance tell me they are constantly arguing with their children over food choices," she writes. "Many prefer to reserve family arguments about setting limits for dealing with aspects of behavior that they consider more important."
Please. If parents don't have the wherewithal to say no when their kids ask for something they saw on TV, their problems go far beyond the risk of chubby offspring.
Look, I have mixed emotions about advertising. I know it works. When Zteen was little, we watched NO television at all Sunday night through Friday afternoon. The TV was available on Saturday all day and on Sunday afternoon. Not much of it got watched, because that was when we were busy doing things as a family.
The moment we turned off the TV, we also turned off the "I Wants." By the 2nd Christmas after the TV turnoff, Zteen (then Zkid, I guess!) couldn't think of a single thing to want for Christmas. It took him WEEKS and WEEKS to finally decide he wanted a basketball. The same the next Christmas, and the same the Christmas after that. It was truly amazing.
So I know that watching Froot Loops commercials leads a kid to want them. What I don't get is parents who don't have the gumption to either feed the kid Froot Loops without wringing their hands or to tell the kids "Sorry, we aren't buyin' 'em!"
We adults are spoiled. Everything is supposed to be made easy for us. Even telling our own kids NO.