Sad facts from Women’s Health Magazine -
According to media industry estimates, advertisers spend $900 million every year on television shows aimed at children under 12. And more than two-thirds of that advertising is for food products: fast-food meals with action figures and dolls; sugary cereals with cartoon spokespeople; “juice” drinks that have about as much to do with actual fruit as Swedish Fish have to do with mackerel. The average child between ages 8 and 18 spends 3 hours a day in front of the television, and according to the Federal Trade Commission, kids ages 2 to 11 will see 26,000 TV ads this year—22 percent of them marketing food. And their message—that junk food equals instant happiness—is one that sticks with a child for all his life.
Even though I recently turned forty-nine, my kids are somewhat young. My oldest will be ten this summer and my youngest will be eight in the spring.
I add the fact about my age because it seems, to me, lately, that kids this age usually have a father who is his late 30′s or early 40′s – as opposed to one knocking on the door of fifty. Then again, that just might be me since I have been very sensitive about my age lately.
In any event, as a father of young children, I can attest that this is true – meaning that the kids get pulled in and are influenced by these ads. My wife and I have stressed to our kids, many times, that these commercials are geared towards fooling you to part with your money – and that the products pitched are often very bad for you. And, we still have to keep doing it – fighting the good fight – today.
Until someone makes the advertisers stop, it’s a fight that’s not going to end soon.