Hey Kids, Here Comes the Pitch (II)

British consumer advocacy group, Which?, has taken issue with cartoon characters being used to market unhealthy foods to kids.  Their research showed that “77 percent of people think using kids’ favorite cartoon characters such as Shrek, The Simpsons and Scooby Doo, on the packs of foods high in fat, salt and sugar makes it difficult for parents to say no to their children.”  This, to me, is one of those “no-duh” stats that only makes me wonder what the other 23% are thinking?

I do the grocery shopping in my household and am always on the lookout for foods that I think my young son will find fun and interesting.  I turn over box after box and package after package of food items being marketed to and for kids only to put them right back after reading the ingredients.  High-fructose this and trans fat that.  There is no way I’m putting that stuff into my kid’s body in any significant quantity (except for the occasional treat or to allow him to be social).  Overall, kids’ activity levels are down and their consumption of high-fat and high-calorie packaged and prepared foods is up and we all know what it’s doing to their weight, general health, self-confidence and well-being.

If tobacco companies can’t market to kids because their products are known to be addictive and unhealthy, why is the same not true for food companies?  If Joe Camel can’t be used to promote cigarettes, why can the likes of Shrek be used to promote sugary cereals and high-fat snacks?

via [Blogging Baby]