Originally published December 15 2008
Urge Nickelodeon/ Viacom to Stop Marketing Junk Food to Children
by Jessica Rampton
(NaturalNews) An important action step that parents can take to counter the media marketing of unhealthy foods directed towards children is to make your voices heard directly to the people in charge of making the media marketing decisions.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has set up a "take action" campaign where you can send a pre-written letter or an edited letter electronically to the CEO of Viacom urging him to "Stop Marketing Junk Food to Children". See http://takeaction.cspinet.org/campaign/kidvi...
A recent study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) found that 79% of foods marketed to children by Viacom are too high in fats, salt, and/or sugars.
Media marketing of unhealthy foods may directly contribute to the rising risk of obesity in American children (see article How Media Drives Obesity in Children and Simple Counter Tactics)
The U.S. Congress, Children's Television Act of 1990 reports, by the time the average child is 18 years old, he or she has spent between 10,000 and 15,000 hours watching television and has been exposed to more than 200,000 commercials.
One research study documents that obesity in children increases the more hours they watch television. (Crespo, 2001)
According to the 2004 report "The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity" by the Kaiser Family Foundation, "during the same period in which childhood obesity has increased so dramatically, there has also been an explosion in media targeted to children: TV shows and videos, specialized cable networks, video games, computer activities and Internet Web sites." And "much of the media targeted to children is laden with elaborate advertising campaigns, many of which promote foods such as candy, soda, and snacks."
The Advertising Coalition reports that $10-$15 billion is spent annually on kids' food advertising.
Researchers found that for each additional hour of television viewed per day, daily servings of fruits and vegetables decreased among adolescents possibly due to television advertising (Boynton-Jarret, R, 2003)
It only takes a moment to add your voice to the campaign to regulate or end harmful dietary advertising towards American children on popular childrens' television.
You can help urge Viacom/Nickelodeon to be a leader in the industry by placing strong nutrition standards for which foods and beverages the company will and won't market to children on Nickelodeon television channels, the Internet, in Nickelodeon magazines, especially using popular cartoon characters, like SpongBob SquarePants, to convey unhealthy marketing messages.
Go to http://takeaction.cspinet.org/campaign/kidvi... today and take action towards protecting children.
Another simple action step you can take is to urge your member of congress to Improve School Foods here http://takeaction.cspinet.org/CSPI/schoolfoo...
Boynton-Jarret, R, et al, (2003) Impact of Television Viewing Patterns on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Adolescents, Pediatrics 112(2003)6:1321-1326
Crespo, Carlos J. et al, (2001), Television Watching, Energy Intake, and Obesity in U.S. Children, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 155, 360-365
About the authorJessica Rampton has a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and is chief scientific officer for UpLift Nutrition. See http://www.upliftnutrition.com.
She has formulated several alternative health products, including, Active UpLift(R), a HEALTHY MOOD AND ENERGY DRINK, NO caffeine, NO sugar, plus a full daily supplement of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. After working 7 years in metabolic disease and cancer research, she moved on to continue scientific research for preventative health through excellent lifestyle choices and natural supplements. Be UpLifted! http://www.tryuplift.com
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