Kids, Advertising and Nutrition

By Wild Oats Markets, Inc.

We ve been hearing a lot about the prevalent issue of childhood obesity. Since the 1970s, obesity has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. Currently, there are approximately nine million children over six years of age that are obese. Although there are many facets for the cause of obesity in the US, children, on the other hand, are even more susceptible to be overweight because of advertising. Today, your child is bombarded with print, radio, and TV advertising for products that are high in sugar and high in fat. As a parent, we need to protect our children and encourage them with a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips you can take to help your child eat better and live longer.

Kids - A few Facts

Food companies spend $10 billion to $12 billion each year to market to kids and adolescents. Since children lack the skills to discriminate commercials ads from noncommercial shows, they re unable to recognize that commercials are designed to sell them products. There s strong evidence that shows exposure to television advertising is associated with higher levels of obesity in children. Since most commercials advertise unhealthy foods such as candy bars, soda pops and other high sugar treats, it s easy to see why we have an epidemic of obesity in the U.S.

Did you know that advertisers try to create an emotional attachment with their products? Advertisers know that they can sell more products if they directly advertise to your child. If they can get your child emotionally attached to their product then this creates the pester power that your child uses to ware you down for treats. No wonder it s getting harder and harder to say no to your child; they re emotionally drawn to the advertised product.

Furthermore, another study found that children who watched television for more than two hours per day were more likely to take up cigarette smoking as young adults. Therefore the challenge is to reduce your child s exposure to advertisements. Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, go out and get some fresh air. Take your family for a walk in the park, mountains or at the beach.

Here are some tips to help keep your child healthy:

Here are some other ideas for healthy snacks:

Wild Oats Markets, Inc. is a nationwide chain of natural and organic foods markets in the US and Canada. The company operates 111 natural foods stores in 24 states and British Columbia, Canada. The company's markets include: Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry's Farmers Market, Sun Harvest and Capers Community Markets.


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