Marketing Unhealthy Food To Our Children
Earlier in the day we watched this short video which I forgot to include in Part one of the MomsRising FoodPower Conference Recap:
Moving. Disturbing. Incredibly true.
After watching the Soul Food Junkie documentary, we headed upstairs for the breakout sessions:
The one I chose was: Junk Food Marketing To Children: How to stop the onslaught of advertising through television, smart phones and the web!
One of the panelist brought up the fact that our kids are being marketing to from all angels–through smart phone, Apps, commercials between their favorite cartoons–it never ends. Digital marketing is here and we as mothers need to take heed and pay very close attention! Marketing is getting a lot more tricky, way more personal and deceptive.
Stat: In 2009 1.8 Billion dollars was spent marketing food to children.
Think about it, usually our kids’ favorite cartoon characters are on a box of candy or cereal that is no good for them.
The session was very informative. It really opened my eyes to how businesses are using bloggers (like us) to spread the word to folks they would have never been able to touch. Instead of spending a ton of money with focus groups, they jump in front of us in the form of our favorite bloggers. How true is that? I have my bloggy tribe (you know who you are) so if you introduce something to me, I will listen–closely because I value your opinion greatly. It is really our responsibility to make the right decisions about which brands to work with because I don’t think any paycheck is worth sacrificing your integrity. Someone actually brought up their disgust with mommy bloggers that promote McDonalds and other unhealthy brands.
They asked how many people in the room were bloggers, a LOT of hands went up. I recognized NONE of the bloggers they referenced and I thought I was ALL up in the healthy living blog space.
There was a nice hearty discussion about Girl Scout Cookies (how horrible they are but its a necessary evil because salt sugar and fat SELLS, nothing else quite sells like that and Nickelodeon peddling Cheetos on Nick Jr. The conversation was lively to say the least. I enjoyed it thoroughly however because this is a conversation that needs to be HAD. Our children can’t keep eating this way anymore, its criminal. It’s unnatural. Its wrong.
How do we make this better?
- Your voice counts: When you see a commercial advertising something unhealthy to your children write a letter to the FTC complaining about the company. Just the threat alone is enough to have them reconsider!
- Another way to make this better is to start educating our kids on how marketing works, teach them the tactics because we as parents have all the influence and the power to not fall for the unhealthy eating lifestyle.
- For those of us who have toddlers, its really not too late to re-train the palette. I have a lot of retraining to do personally, but I do have completely control over what my children eat. I will start introducing new healthy foods, and trying different things with my very picky eating son until something works. The older they get the harder it gets to get them to change their ways.
Unfortunately it will also mean that I will have to go outside of my borough to find decent healthy options. But for my kids, its worth it.
The conference ended with some really cute swag and a feeling that not only could I control my children’s diet and make it even MORE nutritious, I can maybe even take the same care with myself.
How do you feel about the way unhealthy foods are marketed to our children?
Do you take actions to monitor what is marketed to your child/children?