Do you remember watching Saturday morning cartoons when you were a kid? The best thing about it sometimes was watching all of the different commercials for candies and cereal. Times have not changed much. Many parents still use the boob tube as a built in babysitter on Saturday morning. However unlike back when we were kids it is not so permissible diet wise to consume so many sugary foods. Yet these commercials play endlessly on Saturday mornings so your kids will bother you to eat some.
According to the Cleveland Health News most of the programming your kid's watch on Saturday morning is for foods that have lousy nutritional content. Researchers at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, (known as the Food Police) and student researchers the University of Minnesota studied a sample of 27.5 hours of show directed at pre-school and elementary school-aged children. They found four straight hours of what your kids could watch on Saturday morning was nothing more that food commercials. The programming sample came from the major networks so it is likely that they were watching what every kid in America watches on a Saturday morning. Talk abuts brain washing!
In fact, they found that 49 percent of the 4 hours of advertising was for food, and that 91 percent of food ads were for foods or beverages high in fat, sodium, or added sugars, or low in nutrients. These included advertisements for everything from potato chips to dessert items to soups.
Of the 281 food ads included in the sample, 59 percent were for products with higher levels of added sugar. One in five of the foods advertised had higher total fat content, levels of saturated plus trans fat, and sodium. As you may have guessed a lot of these ads were for take out food places like MacDonald's, Taco Bell and the like.
The food police concluded that this advertising mainly promoted unhealthy nutrition and that there were next to no ads marketing fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products or whole grains. This of course may solve the mystery as to why our children seem to be so out of it when it comes to eating healthy food and so wildly desirous of junk foods, potato chips, creamy foods and snack foods.
One of the things that are sad about all of this is that it is just as easy to make an apple look 'sexy' to a child, as it is a Big Mac. The problem is that there is no money or motivation to make health foods look good to your kids on television. Psychologically these junk food ads can do a lot of damage as they train your kids to desire the wrong types of foods. They create cravings where they need not exist and once your kid gets the food they then create physical cravings for sugar and fat as well. Seeing the imagery for the food is what initiates the whole toxic cycle in the first place. Perhaps in Canada they have the right idea by getting these commercials banned in the first place.