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Originally published December 14 2009

Nickelodeon food ads promote junk food to children

by Paul Louis, staff writer

(Natural News) The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) determined that "nearly 80 percent of food ads on the popular children's network Nickelodeon are for foods of poor nutritional quality." This modest improvement from 90 percent in 2005 was considered insufficient, and the industry's self regulatory group was chastised for such a small improvement over a four year span.

CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan stated, "It's a modest start, but not sufficient to address children's poor eating habits and the sky-high rates of childhood obesity."

The food industry's self regulatory system was formed under the moniker of The Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) after the initial 2005 CSPI report. It was formed under the Better Business Bureau. Evidently, self regulation within a group of many members vying for big bucks is not such a great idea.

CSPI took a close look at all the food manufacturers who are members of CFBAI and discovered that 60 percent of their advertised foods did not measure up to CSPI nutritional standards. If 80 percent of Nickelodeon ads were promoting foods of poor nutritional quality, that means the foods with the poorest nutritional quality were advertised more than CSPI's acceptable foods.

Apparently CSPI standards are not even that high. The major concern of obesity from sugar and fats ignores all the other trappings of junk food, such as high fructose corn syrup, a terrible health-destroying sweetener often used because it's cheaper than sugar. Another less expensive sweetener that seems to be ignored is aspartame, a neurotoxin with serious health consequences.

Then there is MSG with its myriad disguises. MSG as a flavor enhancer is also a neurotoxin, and its addictive quality makes it a usual suspect in obesity issues. The fact that corn-based sweeteners are probably sourced from GMO corn seems to be ignored. Bottom line: The percentage of health-destroying junk foods that the CFBAI companies offer is very likely much higher than 60 percent.

Among the nutritionally uneducated, the sole urge to avoid obesity encourages using dangerous sweeteners while avoiding healthy fats. It's a recipe for worsening health. And it appears that mainstream dietary standards are lacking the complete picture. So it's up to parents to be well informed about nutritional issues and take control of their children's diets.

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