Wednesday, March 26, 2008

a final frontier...


Parents, teachers, youth pastors, child advocates, psychologists, sociologists, etc...are all beginning to realize the same thing: The internet has very little regulation when it comes to advertising. Any type of advertising, really...and to any targeted audience.

Over the past decade, small numbers at a time have realized this...but it seems as if the movement to bring it to the "powers that be" is finally gaining momentum. Or maybe I finally crawled out from behind a rock and realized it myself.

One large area is advertising targeted at minors, from unhealthy products. We don't have to look far to realize that our culture of immediate self-indulgence is producing a generation of unhealthy and overweight youngsters. This article talks about the thousands of experts and advocates who will be proposing a new INTERNATIONAL CODE...which probably won't get approved of just yet, and even if it did, would take years to actually enforce... the code is:

Unhealthy foods are defined as energy-dense, nutrient-oor foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

The proposed code would:
-Ban unhealthy food ads on radio and TV between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
-Ban unhealthy food ads on all forms of new media, from web sites to social networking sites and text messaging.
-Ban unhealthy food promotions in schools
-Ban unhealthy food promotions that include free gifts, toys or collectible items that appeal to children
-Ban use of celebrities, cartoon characters, competitions or free gifts in unhealthy food ads and promotions

I think this might do SOME good. But I doubt it will do any SERIOUS damage to the rate of obesity and unhealthiness of our culture. We don't need a cartoon to tell us that unhealthy foods taste good. I'm pretty sure that even if cheesy poofs came in a blank cardboard box, and was never advertised, kids would eventually, by experience, LOVE the sight of that box, and get excited about having some.
I guess a lot of it goes back to parenting. To discipline, self-discipline, and learning moderation. Smaller portions. But what age does this begin? I'm pretty sure I need to get better at it myself too, before I can fully understand how to approach it with my daughters.
For now...we're thankful when Addie eats anything. Oh sure, she'd love to sit down with a bag of cheese puffs and go to town (so would I)....we've set limits on that at least. And we scrape frosting off of stuff, etc. And Sarah helps limit the amount of times we have frozen pizza in a month....come to think of it....my wife has been saying stuff like this, and pushing vegetables for quite some time now. Shucks...maybe I should just listen to her.

1 comment:

Sarah Anne said...

Thanks, babe. So no more complaining when I make veggies and "healthy food"... right????