AAP Recommends Banning Junk Food Ads - FamilyEducation

AAP Recommends Banning Junk Food Ads

June 28,2011

How many times has your child come to you, asking for some form of junk food that you've never heard of, let alone ever given to him?

I'd hazard to guess that it's happened before.

And chances are, he saw it while watching his morning cartoons.

It is no secret that junk food companies know exactly who their target audience is. And they know exactly how to get to that target audience-- by putting their product where most kids will see it. During the commercials of popular kids' shows.

Using flashy colors, cartoon mascots, and catchy phrases, junk food and fast food ads can usually sell almost any child on whatever it is they are trying to promote.

However, this clever marketing may soon be nixed, if the American Academy of Pediatrics has their way.

Citing the growing obesity epidemic among children, the AAP recently recommended that all fast food and junk food ads be banned from airing during children's shows.

They also recommended that such ads also be banned from cell phones and other media, and that companies making these products be banned from paying to have their products featured in movies.

With about one third of American children either overweight or obese, the AAP is hoping this "media diet" will help curb the growing waistlines of our nation's youth.

Television has long been known to be a contributing factor to unhealthy eating habits. Between mindless snacking while watching TV to the lack of exercise children get because of it, ads promoting unhealthy snack, beverages, and meals only add to the problem.

So, even if kids aren't going to watch less TV (which is a completely separate problem itself), the temptation by eat fatty fast food and sugary snacks can be eliminated, hopefully, the old-fashioned way-- by not even tempting them to begin with. That's what the AAP is hoping for at least.

So, tell us, what do you think. Do you think banning fast food and junk food ads from children's shows will help curb the obesity epidemic we are facing? Or do you think it's another case of "too little, too late" regarding our children's eating habits?