Media has a strong influence on food choices, good or bad

Children’s Food Choices and Media Research, Center on Media and Child Health, September 22, 2014.

An excellent and upbeat article well worth close study. The idea is that, although the media has played a negative role in inducing kids into bad food habits, the media can also play its part in positive directions in terms of influencing kids to eat healthy.

One of the papers cited in this article describes a content analysis of commercials interwoven with 96 hours of children’s TV. It’s clear that the food advertised is high in sugar and fat, and then we wonder why we have an epidemic of childhood obesity in our country?

But one of this issues here, which the scholarly literature on the subject underscores, is the existence of at least two reasons for concern about a causal connection between children’s media and childhood obesity: commercial content and sheer time spent by kids in front of media devices, thereby undermining kids from my physically active free time pursuits.

Another interesting conclusion that can be drawn from this article is that in a free wheeling free enterprise society like ours some of the counter-advertising to the free market’s potentially problematic advertising of high fat and high sugar items must come from the government. After all, companies that produce high fat and high sugar food times do not bear any responsibility for the potential pernicious outcome of their advertising, namely the growth of childhood obesity in the the society, whereas the government as the agent of the populace at large does.