Blogs 4 Brownback

March 28, 2007

Junk Culture: TV and Obesity

Filed under: Family,Sam Brownback — Psycheout @ 1:05 pm

Sam Brownback cares about families. This is a given. In the news (or not) today is yet another example: Brownback Addresses Kaiser Family Foundation Study – Examines impact of food advertizing on children.

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today commented on “Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States”, a study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“This study is a wake-up call that we all must do more to address the impact of food advertising on children,” said Brownback. “The dramatic rise in childhood obesity rates is a something that cannot be ignored. On a daily basis, the average child in America is exposed to dozens of television advertisements for junk food.”

Every parent is aware of this at some level. But the study spells out the disturbing numbers.

Brownback spoke at today’s panel discussion during which the Kaiser Family Foundation announced the publication of a new study, “Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States.” The study finds, in part, that children between the ages of 8 and 12 see more than 20 food ads daily; 34% of all food ads targeting children or teens are for candy and snacks; and half of all ads shown during children’s shows are for food.

That’s a lot of junk being pushed on our children.

Brownback continued, “I am hopeful that both parents and advertisers pay close attention to the findings of this study. Through my participation in the Joint Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity I have become aware of the industry’s desire to voluntarily broadcast more healthful messages to children.”

I hope that things will change without mandates and legislation, but considering the junk the liberal news media feeds adults on a daily basis, I have my doubts that they will voluntarily peddle less unhealthy garbage to our children. There’s millions of dollars at stake.

Things were bad when I was a child. I couldn’t watch cartoon shows on saturday without a continuous assault of loud flashy ads for sugar coated cereals, candy bars and other junk filled “snacks.” It seems that things have only gotten worse.

According to a National Health Examination Survey, the percentage of overweight children has more than tripled over the past 40 years. American companies spend $15 billion a year marketing and advertising to children under the age of 12, twice the amount spent 10 years ago. Children influence about $500 billion in annual spending on products like cereal, candy and fast food.

The study, Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States, including audio documenting its release is available here.

Hat Tip: Shaping Youth.

— Psycheout


  1. I’m torn. On the one hand, I don’t want to interfere with free enterprise, but on the other hand, I don’t want children eating garbage. I think maybe a law should be passed outlawing certain kinds of foods, but the government should compensate the hard-working businessmen who lose money due to this legislation.

    Comment by Sisyphus — March 28, 2007 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  2. Parents need to say no to their kids more often. And switch off the TV set and make them go play outside.

    Comment by JOE — March 29, 2007 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

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