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Family Nutrition- What kind of messages are food companies sending to parents

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

We are always hearing about the concern about marketing to our kids. How much exposure of TV ads and other media are our kids seeing and how is that influencing their food choices, food associations and ideas about nutrition?

We know they are being influenced for sure! If not, these high fat, high sugar companies would not be spending the millions and millions of dollars on advertising to them. But what about parents? I don't have figures (but if I can find it, we all might be shocked!). How much money is being spent to influence the parent to promote sugary foods and fatty foods to their kids? Have you thought about that?

I really hadn't thought about this until I saw a commercial (company shall rename nameless, tsk, tsk) that was actually geared towards parents. It showed a mom giving her kids treats (sugary ones!) as a reward and then the narrator said something like "be a good mom" or something like that but it was clearly making an inference to being a good mom and giving her child treats and child contentment.

So parents, we have to be on the alert. It is easy after a long day to go a little passive and just let those messages begin to sink into our minds without question.  They get us by showing how cooperative our kids can be and how much easier it is.  Don't be fooled. We are at a war to save our children from a future of illness from poor nutrition. That may sound over dramatic but read the latest trends in childhood obesity, heart disease in children, diabetes in children, increasing emotional disorders in children, ... it goes on and on.

Instead, let those ads serve as a reminder that our kids are worth every effort we make to FIGHT FUN with FUN. Be creative and make eating healthier a great experience for your child. A fun active family day is a much better reward than a sugary treat. You are the most powerful marketing weapon against the high sugar, high fat companies. (And BTW, I am not an extremist, sugary treats and fatty foods are okay every once in awhile, but let's not make them out to the best thing and something kids really look forward to)

Healthy foods can be the most fun....if we make them fun!




Friday, Nov 21, 2008 @ 04:33 PM

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Let's not forget all the advertising claiming that if a mom is in the kitchen cooking real food for dinner, they belong in the 1950s. Give me a break.
Child Health
Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 @ 06:43 AM

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An informative post. As a parent its our responsibility to give proper nutritional food. The products available today are no way nutritional. Really a great post. Thanks. Juliet
Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 @ 04:43 AM

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Any other way solving this issue?
Hand Me Downs
Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009 @ 04:24 AM

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hi, i agree with you. Ads, very discreetly, convey a different msg which affects the subconscious minds. Like in the sugary item ad, its kinda said that if you are good mom, you would treat your kids with that product. Parents have to be very alert on such ads. Thanks for sharing this info.

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