Monday, May 4, 2009

How does advertising affect obesity?

I"m doing a debate, and my job is to prove that advertising doesn't affect obesity. And that they shouldn't ban advertisement or limit it. So if anyone has any information on this kind of thing please let me know.

How does advertising affect obesity?
I'll just give you one for-instance.

Look at advertising aimed at children--sugary cereals for instance. (I read the label on one the other day. The first four ingrediants were: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Wheat and Honey--3 out of four of those are types of sugar!) The commercials make this cereal very appealing to children, with bright colors and favorite cartoon characters and free (junky) gifts in the box. Kids beg mom for cereal, mom buys cereal, kids eat it, get hooked on sugar.

Same thing with fast food. Free toys, usually tied into a kids' tv series or movie, cool playgrounds. Kids want the free toy, want to play in the playground. But the meals offered with the toys are full of fat, and few parents chose the option of milk or juice; they take the soda. The five minutes the kids spend running around doesn't begin to use up the calories in their "happy" meal.

When I was little, we didn't even HAVE a Mcdonald's in our town (now we have 3). We had to drive to another town to have it. It was a HUGE treat and I got it maybe once a month. Now there are fast food restaurants everywhere and kids go all the time--more than once a week if not every day.

And of course the whole video game industry-xbox, play station, etc, encourages children to stay inside and sit still instead of burning off some of those fast-food calories playing outside.

I won't even get into all the fear spawned by media which makes parents think there are child molesters everywhere and better to have the kid inside and visible than outside in the fresh air.


Lots of ranting like this on my blog.

(spell check is down, sorry for any errors.)
Reply:I believe it does help cause obesity. But since you have the opposing debate view, consider a stance like this:

People choose what they put in their mouths. While TV etc. offer us choices, we decide the final fat and calorie count.

TV is full of skinny, attractive people. That is causing a lot of folks to want to emulate them, to be thin.

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