The ways the food industry now targets kids are so pervasive and the tactics so deceitful that even the most diligent parent cannot prevent their kids from being inundated at the most impressionable stages in their development.
What if you woke up one morning to learn that your community had become enlisted to advertise for Coca-Cola? You didn't have a choice. People in neighborhoods across your city were told the same thing. That's basically what happened in the city of Chicago.
Children's health and well-being are essential to the future vitality and security of this country, and parents care deeply about their children's health. But, parents also know they are up against powerful commercial interests, and they are starting to get angry.
Parents must understand the psychology behind food-related advertising to children, get wise to current formats, and initiate consumer action. Turns out, a generation of kids has been taught that food is fun, rather than fuel.
The power of suggestion is indeed powerful. And, in my opinion, it's rarely to our benefit. Think about it -- when you have a craving, is it for something healthy like apples or spinach, chicken or salmon? Not for me.
The biggest news in the kid-and-food world yesterday was an announcement in which Disney promised to phase out the advertising of junk food on its child-directed television channels, web sites and radio stations. The initiative should be enthusiastically applauded.
Mayor Bloomberg is brave to go head-to-head with Big Food by limiting portion size and trying to create a new norm, but this tactic might further distract from the underlying problem of our virtually unregulated toxic and super-sized food supply.
Last month, when Congress declared pizza a vegetable, it was hard to believe things could get much worse. But never underestimate politicians' ability to put corporate interests ahead of children's health.
Type 2 diabetes is such an American epidemic that we can skip giving kids bikes for Christmas and move right to the wheelchairs they'll be needing later in life. Forget the basketballs, baseball gloves and bats.