Thursday, December 08, 2005


Food Marketed To Kids? Scientists, Badly, Say Bad.

So there's a story from the AP about scientists who say marketing food to kids is bad. Translation: you aren't competent to raise your kids, so somebody else should. And we'll take over for all the good parents too. And decide who gets to make money doing what.

First thing that bothers me: "Food marketing strongly influences what children eat." This from the Institute of Medicine, whoever they are. Somehow I thought that parents decided what kids eat. They either buy the food, or provide the money that kids use to buy food. If parents don't like these so-called bad foods for their kids, don't buy them. Send little Billy to school with a sack lunch.

Second thing: "The report said evidence is limited on whether TV advertising directly causes obesity in children." I had always understood that the only thing that directly causes obesity is food eaten and exercise done. Has TV found a way to beam calories directly from the screen to your hips? And if so, I have to say that I really expected the technology that allows the TV to have some sort of virtual sex with me long before it would feed me. I can feed myself just fine.

Third thing: "I don't think that even the best social marketing on healthy foods can overcome the advertising and sale of breakfast cereals that taste like cookies." This from Diana Zuckerman. She's president of the National Research Center for Women and Families. Again, aren't the parents buying the cereal? Who are these kids who go to the store and buy their own cereal, take it home, and eat it, even though their parents disapprove of the cereal, and without the parents taking it away? Oh yes, they're called adult children who have moved out of mom and dad's place and are living on their own.

These people don't just think parents are incompetent. They also want to force SpongeBob and similar characters to only do advertising for healthy foods. Not only do these people want to tell you what to eat, they want to tell other people what sorts of business decisions they can make with their own intellectual property.

I guess one of the disadvantages of living in a free society is not being able to stifle those whose only goal is taking your freedoms away.
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