The Disney company has announced that it will be banning junk food ads from its media networks. My take on this news at the BBC’s website today. Bottom line: I’m happy for any help in fighting the culture of marketing to kids, but nothing substitutes for personal responsibility, including engaged, authoritative parenting. Excerpt:
As the food writer Jane Black has observed, studies show that Americans do not lack information and opportunity to eat more sensibly – they just prefer the taste and convenience of junk food.
So, bully for Disney and Mrs Obama, but let us be grown-ups about this: the reason American children are so fat has less to do with the sort of television they watch and more to do with the fact that American adults – the people who are supposed to be taking care of kids and forming their character and habits – would rather eat like children: what they want, as much as they want, when they want it, and cooked by someone else.
People may say they hate the nanny state, but they sure do live like they need a nanny.
(P.S. to readers — I’m about to spend the afternoon with my father at the cardiologist while he undergoes a stress test. I won’t be able to approve comments until I return this evening. Note well that there’s a glitch in the software, making it appear that zero comments have been posted. In fact, all comments are appearing. We’re working on fixing this. Just click the “0 comments” hotlink, and it’ll take you to comments on that thread.)
UPDATE: From the mailbag:
Without getting too political or preachy, it was nice to read a straightforward, told-from-experience piece about the lack of parental responsibility. As a high school teacher in Florida, it’s nearly impossible to get parents to accept the challenge of accountability. Something that I’ve found that works is I pack my lunch every morning (2 wraps, 2 fruits, carrots, water, protein shake), and I eat lunch during class and throughout the day. The students watch this and always ask questions and have started to follow the same pattern. It might be small, but if teachers, nannies, and babysitters are to be role models, them I’ll gladly take that challenge.