How junk food marketing is hurting American kids
In a speech delivered from the state dining room of the White House, first lady, Michelle Obama addressed the power that junk food marketing has on influencing kids’ choices. Mrs. Obama assembled a number of representatives from the food and marketing industries as well as advocacy and government agencies to collaborate to address the controversial issue.
“I am not asking anyone to take the fun out of childhood,” Michelle Obama said in a blog post on the Let’s Move website. “Instead, the goal here is to empower parents instead of undermining them as they try to make healthier choices for their families.” Let’s Move is a collaborative launched by Mrs. Obama dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
According to some consumer advocates, research shows that food marketing is the leading cause of childhood obesity because the ads and promotions lead impressionable kids to then pester their parents to eat what they saw on TV.
“Obesity is a growing epidemic among Americans young and old. Poor eating habits contribute to overweight and can also cause diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” said Dr. Jennifer DeBruler, board certified in obesity medicine, Advocate Condell Medical Center. “Teaching kids to avoid unhealthy eating will have long term affects into adulthood.”
The first lady hopes that companies will increase marketing of foods with “real nutritional value” and praised companies like Disney and Birds Eye Vegetables for their success in using marketing as a vehicle to encourage healthy choices among kids.
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