Have your children seen an ad for fresh apples lately? How about a commercial for yams or carrots?
But they most likely have seen lots of advertisements for candy, soft drinks, sugary cereals, and other processed food like substances.
And what they see, they immediately turn into action. At least, this is what a study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale has concluded. From the New York Times:
In one experiment, 118 children, ages 7 to 11, were each given bowls of Goldfish crackers and then left to watch a 14-minute cartoon. During the commercial breaks, some of the children saw ads for games and entertainment; others watched four spots for unhealthy snacks like waffle sticks with syrup, fruit roll-ups and potato chips. The children who saw the food spots ate 45 percent more Goldfish than those who watched the game commercials.
What you need to know:
It’s an uphill battle for parents today to try and keep their children eating healthfully. Food manufacturers are not making things easy. Tens of thousands of nutritiously superfluous products manufactured for kids, and the big brands spend tens of millions of dollars on advertising to those eyeballs that count the most.
Some parents have decided to live TV free. Others Tivo commercials away. But for the most part, our impressionable younger generation is learning what to eat from brand marketers on Madison Avenue.
What to do at the supermarket:
You need to start educating your children from a very early age about healthy eating habits. Definitely provide snacks and sweets, but in moderation.
You also need to explain that not everything on TV is true, and when it comes to advertising, there are motives present not necessarily in the best interest of the consumer.
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