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Dulguun Bayaraa

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We need stricter regulations on commercials about unhealthy foods on TV. Replacing those with ads about healthy food will make a difference.

As a concerned college student and a sister to a 6 year old brother, I wrote a research essay in a class a while ago on how childhood is being excessively commercialized.

I researched some data, and found out that
The amount of commercials displayed on TV is literally longer than the actual show that children watch on TV. From those commercials, food commercials dominate, and they are only about unhealthy foods, candies, and other junk foods. Most children in the U.S. aged 2-18 spend a good amount of time watching TV everyday. From those, 2-8 year old kids don't even have the reasoning skills to understand that commercials are meant to sell products to them. So the kids are very vulnerable to those excessive unhealthy commercials.
Then I went on to research about the restrictions, and policies on commercials that are being directed to our children. There are hardly any regulations about advertising unhealthy items to children in the U.S. I researched about other countries. Canada, Australia, and the U.K. are doing much better jobs to stop those bad commercials to reach to our susceptible little children.

Basically what I'm trying to say here is that regulating commercials that are being directed to children will be one way to lessen our problem. Government need to ban certain kind of commercials, or set a criteria for the commercials. Furthermore, it will be effective to utilize TV as a tool to educate children about healthy food. Replacing the unhealthy food commercials with short blurbs about healthy food will serve as a great tool to educate our children about food.

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  • Mar 30 2011: Hi Dulguun, I am not sure if that would have much of an effect. A recent study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine published in the International Journal of Obesity indicates that calorie labeling in fast food restaurants had no effect on what people purchased. The message on healthy food has been out for quite a while. I wonder what percentage of people choose to purchase salads at McDonalds.
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      Mar 31 2011: I agree Julie, that a lot of people don't seem to mind about the calorie. On that note, I think we need to educate people beyond calories, and more about what impacts these unhealthy foods have on them. Sometimes numbers is just numbers, it doesn't tell people the effect. It is just that a lot of people think they can afford McDonald, but can't afford healthy food. We need to change their perspectives and let them realize what those unhealthy foods are doing to them and their kids.
      • Apr 1 2011: Hi Dulguun, a few days ago my son and I sat in the food court at the mall while he grabbed a (healthy enough) Sub to eat. A young couple, late teens to early 20s, both morbidly obese, squeezed into the adjacent table. They had a young child, possibly as old as 1 year, but a small 1-year old. This child was being fed french fries and fried onion rings, while they ate hamburgers and fries. It was heartbreaking to see this baby consume these things. There were many healthy enough choices at comparable prices. We live in a society where the message on healthy eating is absolutely everywhere. Part of the problem is that parents pass their harmful behaviors on to their children.
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        Apr 1 2011: Why are you all trying to establish the way other people should live? We should be worried when someone initiates violence or fraud against others. IsnĀ“t it what are you trying to do? Forcing people to behave as you wish? If you want to spend your time and money to do so, I see no problem. However, asking a pachyderm (government) to step into. We all will be trampled.
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          Apr 1 2011: What is happening in our food environment and choices is a fraud. It could also be considered violence, as ultimately the industrialized food system is degrading our top-soils, creating dead zones in our oceans, poisoning our water, polluting our air, fattening us and our children, and causing fatal diseases.

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