Pop Quiz: Who teaches our kids the most about nutrition?
If you answered other, you’re right. In an interesting op-ed in the Huffington Post, Michael Jacobson, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest, claims that a $2 billion education campaign is underway, and it’s being funded by non other than the junk food industry.
Some of the things are children are learning:
- Packaged food filled with sugar, salt, and fat is good.
- Junk foods and beverages are cool. Consuming them will make you cool.
- Broccoli and healthy veggies are not cool.
Where are kids learning these things?
Aside from TV, children are exposed to junk food marketing in
- gaming websites
- youtube videos
- mobile apps
- movie merchandising and tie ins
- on junk food product packages
- and more…
As much as we parents like to think we can protect our kids from predatory marketing, the older they get, our influence decreases.
The solution? Jacobson recommends nutrition education in classrooms, which in the past was part of home-economics. Perhaps this can help, but additionally, tighter regulations around marketing of junk foods to kids would certainly have an impact.