My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Stop the madness!

Get this, a panel of scientists have decided that our children are at tremendous risk!!!! Brace yourself! At risk from bird-flu? Oh no.... nothing so simple as bird-flu. Our children are at risk because there are snack foods out there that bear the likeness of...


SpongeBob SquarePants. What a dastardly character.

Panel Doesn't Want Junk Food Aimed at Kids

WASHINGTON - SpongeBob SquarePants and characters like him should promote only healthy food for kids, a panel of scientists said Tuesday.

Food marketing strongly influences what children eat, the Institute of Medicine said in a comprehensive review of scientific evidence on the issue. Overwhelmingly, food and drinks marketed to kids are high in calories and low in nutrition, the report said.

"It's putting our children at risk," said panel member Ellen A. Wartella, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside.
Ohhh. So the rise in childhood obesity is all the marketers fault. They are poisoning our children with their fancy packaging and cute little cartoon faces.... Because Lord knows it my two kids that go to the store twice a week and fill the grocery cart and buy all of those terrible snack foods and brings them home to eat. The Kids are definitely the ones in charge of the menu around here.....


Some children's advocacy groups said the recommendations don't go far enough and called for a ban on junk food marketing to children.

"If marketing to children affects their food choices, then it's time to stop marketing to them," said Susan Linn, a psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School who helped found the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Oh that's a good idea.... Let's institute a ban. That will save the kids from eating the evil junk food. Is there even a chance that a parent might have anything to do with the food choices a child is making?? That maybe a parent might be in charge of the family's food purchases? Does this "panel" think that parents bear any responsibility at all??

In *my* world I decide what "snack foods" the girls will have access to. It is MY job to teach them how to make good dietary choices and guide them down the path of nutritional health. Hello??? I think that parents should bear the brunt of the responsibility in raising their children -- not some panel of scientists or activist group or politicians.
These likeable, kid-friendly characters are "being used to manipulate vulnerable children to make unhealthy choices," said Sen. Tom Harkin (news, bio, voting record), D-Iowa, who requested the report.

The panel said the government should try tax breaks and other incentives to encourage the shift away from junk food and, if that doesn't work, Congress should mandate it.
It's not up to congress. It's up to me. My name is Mom.

That's the thing that got to me about the article. Not once was parental responsibility mentioned. In fact, the only time the word "parent" was used was here:
Wally Snyder, president and CEO of the American Advertising Federation, said lack of physical activity also plays a major role in childhood obesity and that his industry is helping educate parents and children about good eating and exercise.

Really? Lack of physical activity plays a role? Oh my goodness -- you're kidding! I had never even heard such a theory! **sigh**

So what did we learn from this panel of scientists?
**Junk food is high in calorie and low in nutritional value.
**Kids like to eat junk foods.
**Marketers that use cartoon images are Eeeeeeevil.
**And lack of activity plays a major roll in childhood obesity.

And how much did this ingenious study cost?
Ordered by Congress, the study was funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a cost of $750,585.
Yeah, that's just great. Now there's a fine use of our tax dollars. Give me a fricking break.

Update: Apparently I am not the only one thinking along these lines....