Selling Bad Health to Kids

Only in a mean society.

The marketing of cheaply produced, unhealthy junk food to kids is another blight on our prosperous society. It does not make sense: advertising and selling food products that are known to cause health problems later in life - directly to children.

How is this acceptable to caring people?
Where has the corporate friendship and ethic gone?
Why aren't governments more concerned about kid's lives?

I do not believe that the fault lies entirely with parents. Partly because they may have been brainwashed too, after many years of being subject to the massive corporate persuasion efforts. But the finger is commonly pointed to moms and dads, especially by business when confronted about their crude marketing tactics. Parents should know all about unhealthy food choices and the grief that can follow later in life, and they should educate their kids. But there are armies of advertisers with a wide ranging supply of tricks to conscript tots and teens to a life of poorer health with such as diabetes and stroke.

This is free enterprise but it is a flawed and cruel system if it can be used in this way. Allowing big business to reap profits from promoting product sales that knowingly cause personal harm should be severely restricted or made unlawful. But the will of politicians does not seem to be there. There is always the commercial connection popping up when there is discussion about troubling situations and government's lack of positive action on an issue.

Governments and corporations of this era will not be looked upon favorably in the history books.

Picture the big juicy burger with added cheese and dressing, or a tall, icy, sugar laden refreshment - appearing repeateadly during youth and child TV programming.

How about the cereal aisle in the supermarket, cartoon alley easily gets the attention of the little ones.

The continuous efforts of marketers are coming through strongly to kids and adolescents via many hours of watching TV or surfing the internet. The cleverly designed ads also show up in print, on buses, food packages, clothes, toys, and wherever it will get good exposure to children. The young will eat it all up; they don't have the experience to know better. They are ripe picking!

With all the finely tuned slick methods marketers use how easy can it be for parents to compete with the onslaught on their young loved ones? Even with good intentions there is peer influence, all the other kids are into it. Yes it is possible but difficult, and requires serious effort.

The emphasis and pressures that corporations put on kids for current and future sales revenue is by far a most lucrative selling technique that many companies now rely on. Catch the kids young and hold them for life. Establishing brands for food, clothing and tech gadgets at an early age can last a lifetime - very profitable and increasingly popular with the big manufacturers.

Sugar, salt and fat, the big bad three in food, they taste good and bring in lots of money. These ingredients and other additives can be very unhealthy when consumed in excessive amounts, yet they are very commonly over used in packaged foods and in restaurants, especially fast food outlets. They can be there to preserve product or simply to enhance taste.

The junk food industry has produced an epidemic of childhood obesity and other serious ailments. Even with food related health problems now well known they keep rising as the greedy efforts to market and sell more continues. It is the most 'rewarding' strategy used for increasing profits now and well into the future. But why isn't this a crime?

And where is there a balance? Campaigns for healthy eating exist but big money is not behind them, it is directed to the merchandising strategies that make the quickest profit. One suggestion is make unhealthy food costlier through taxing, and good food cheaper with subsidies. But why is there no action?

Free enterprise needs adjustments to fix this and provide our kids, future parents, a life free of avoidable sickness.

Speak of it when you can.

A few resources.
There are numerous related posts on this site.

The FCIC has a nice site with informative articles: The Road to a Healthy Life. These are the basic guidelines for eating a healthy diet and being physically active and may be viewed online and downloaded from the Internet. Topics include:
Go back to your roots: Eat all types of healthful food each day!
Food groups, using the Nutrition Facts label.
Nutrition and calories count! How many calories do you need?
Physical activity, food safety, and more.

A Scripps Research Study Shows Compulsive Eating Shares Same Addictive Biochemical Mechanism with Cocaine, Heroin Abuse.

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