As I said with regards to school lunch, if an adult wants to eat unhealthy food, well that's their decision to make (although as a society we are going to pay for it later...but that's topic for another post). In a similar vein, if a food company wants to market their products to free-living adults, well that's their business prerogative. But marketing food directly to kids, who often are not yet old enough to recognize that the cartoon ad selling a sugary cereal is trying to sell them something, is inherently deceptive.
It might be a different story if food companies were trying to get kids to eat apples and bananas with their advertising . But three-quarters of the products marketed to kids are convenience/junk food or fast food (source) which are sugar-laden "food-like substances" (as Mr. Pollan would say).
|Photo by theimpulsivebuy/Flickr CC. Source.|
The issue of food marketing to kids has garnered more and more attention in the last few years (finally!), and as we speak (or I guess I should say, as I type), there is a fight going on in Washington to get the government to enact what would be voluntary food marketing to kids guidelines. Again these guidelines would be voluntary for the food companies to follow. And yet...food companies are lobbying the government to stop these voluntary guidelines.
Watch this video from Prevention Institute for a far more eloquent and compelling explanation of food marketing to kids, and why we need to do something about it.
You can tell the President and First Lady (among others) to stand up for kids and finalize the food marketing guidelines here. Please do. Now. The hearing on these guidelines happened in the house last week. So now is the time to let our government know you want to protect children from food marketing. All you have to do is fill in a form and hit send.