Junk Food Promoted by Nickleodeon Food Ads
According to the center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), around 80% of food related ads shown on the popular children’s network, Nickelodeon, are of poor nutritional quality. It is a modest improvement from 90% in 2005 but it is still considered insufficient. They were also blamed for making insufficient changes over a span of 4 years. Margo G. Wootan, policy director of CSPI nutrition, stated that this 10 percent drop is a small and modest start yet it is not sufficient to acknowledge the children’s poor eating habits. Also, it is not in line with the nation’s goal of addressing the increasing rate of childhood obesity.
The CSPI conducted a survey on all the food manufacturers who put up their ads on various networks. They found that nearly 60% of the foods advertised failed to meet the nutritional standards of CSPI. Foods with very low nutrition were advertised at a higher frequency than those with good nutrition.
Surprisingly, CSPI standards are not too high. The prime concerns of obesity causing factors in food (from fats and sugar) are hidden behind other ingredients of junk food like high fructose corn syrup. This is cheaper alternative of sugar but has terrible effects on bodily health. Another sugar substitute is aspartame, which is a neurotoxin that is thought to have serious health consequences if consumed regularly. MSG is yet another ingredient of junky foods which adversely affects the health. It is a flavor enhancer but it is also a neurotoxin. MSG is also a prime suspect in obesity related issues as it has an addictive quality. To conclude, most of the foods which have serious health implications are advertised heavily on networks that are geared towards children. The facts and figures are disturbing as it encourages a poor diet which leads to childhood obesity.
National Library of Medicine: Food-Related Advertising on Preschool Television