Food Advertisements Targeting Children Regulation

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Regulation of Food Advertisements Targeting Children is Crucial because the majority of products promoted in TV commercials frequently describe junk food, which has numerous detrimental consequences on children's health. The World Health Organization has identified the intake of junk food by youngsters worldwide as a key threat to public health in the twenty-first century because there are no clear laws in place regarding TV advertising (Ramsey 367). For instance, the 2010 statistics by the WHO indicate that in America alone, between the year 2007 and 2008, 17 percent of the children were facing threats to their health because of lack of diet balancing in their daily consumptions. Junk meals are highly promoted and marketed in the US, and the diversity in processing just makes the public interest in these foods increased (Child Obesity 7). Advertising of food to children that is high in salt, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates without essential nutrients and vitamins leads to many problems in their health. Junk food advertised to children through TV ads does not have fiber and hence once digested and absorbed spike the level of blood glucose immediately. Consequently, insulin oversensitivity leads to obesity, and an eventual failure leads to type II diabetes mellitus (Termini, Roberto, and Hostetter 622). Junk food consumption leads to irritable bowel disease as well as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, due to the excessive accumulation of fats on the walls of the stomach. Junk food Causes depression among children, affects the brain function, increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, can cause kidney disease, liver damage as well as an increased risk of cancer. Considering the adverse effects directly associated with the advertisement of food to children in TV, it compels the public and all responsible stakeholders to recognize, appreciate, and embrace the need for regulating the adverts about food that target children. Nevertheless, despite the concerns by the responsible interested parties in the health sector, the processing industries play essential roles in hindering public policy to abolish the consumer interests. Indeed, it is critical to recognize that selling junk food to children and even carrying out coercive advertisements to the minors is both politically and ethically wrong, hence the need for assuming new regulations to help streamline the challenges by reinforcing the existing policies and self-regulatory motives, as children are more vulnerable and hence the most affected than the adult population (Termini, Roberto, and Hostetter 634). Therefore, it is not only imperative to highlight the arguments for or against regulation that could help contain the situation, but also critical to evaluate the counterarguments, assess the rebuttals and strike a sober position, which is both ethically upright and legally justifiable, to utilize as a strategy in regulating Food Advertisements Targeting Children through TV ads.

One of the cardinal regulations that should be adopted and implemented to quell the adverse effects phenomenal as the aftermath of junk food advertisements and hence consumption to manifest in critical health conditions is the need to ensure that all advertisements done in on TV have at least one of the following foods to ensure the promotion of healthy diets; whole grain, fruits, vegetables, poultry and extra lean meat, fish, beans, eggs, seeds and nuts (Ramsey 368). Secondly, regulation should be adopted that ensures that if advertisements have to be made on TV concerning food, then the available nutrients in the aforementioned initial regulation should minimize the intake of nutrients that often result in ion adverse health conditions like weight and obesity consequently. It should be made clear that saturated fats should be only up to one gram or less per meal and fewer calories up to 15 percent at most (Tsai 43). There should not be any more added sugars in the foods advertised up to more than thirteen grams per serving, and the trans fats should be zero percent considering the effects they attract on long term consumption. Furthermore, the content of sodium in the foods advertised on TV should be regulated not to exceed 210 milligrams of sodium per serving. These regulations are very imperative, considering that most foods advertised that target children are cheaply produced and processed without a critical care of the effects on health, and hence the salt, sugar, fat, and carbohydrate contents that blow outside of the desirable proportions. It is quite indispensable to regulate the advertisement of foods that target children on TV, especially those that have high contents in fats, sugar, and salt. Furthermore, it is critical to consider that the regulations should be specially implemented in certain circumstances where children are very vulnerable to the effects of the advertisements made. One of this situations in that in an audience where equal to or more than 25 percent of the population are children, then the ads should not be aired. The other possible yet very useful option is that airing of food ads on TV should not be during the prime times in every single day (Raine 44). For instance, during the weekends, advertisements on food should not be made from eight am in the morning to ten p.m.. Moreover, during the weekdays, ads should be avoided right from two p.m. to ten p.m.. These two approaches will be central moves to ensure that advertisement of food to children is monitored and the situation fully contained reducing the chances of getting out of control.

Furthermore, there is need to ban the cartoon character that is very iconic and towering in appealing to the intuition of children, as well as celebrities who appear with junk food on TV characterized by an attractive and opulent background to coerce and lure children. Indeed, child obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, chronic diseases among other chronic lifestyle conditions that are affected by junk food have become a significant burden not only to the health of children bit also to the general public and the world over (Darvin 49). These regulations are very handy, and when thoroughly implemented, a positive impact will be evidenced significantly, especially on the food that contains more sugar, fats, and salt. These regulations once enforced will be evidenced enough that the ads industry is ready, able, and willing to prevent children from diet-related harm. It has been proved by research data that children between the age bracket of five and fifteen spent up to fifteen hours in a week watching TV. Hence the probability of getting ill-advised on dieting by the food promoting ads is irresistibly high.

The counterarguments raised by Kelly, Miller, and King (2012) however are a clear manifestation that there is no need to regulate food advertisement on TV that targets children. The concern is raised that though the regulations perceived as suitable, and on the verge of implementation, there is an enormous gap between what is factual and the hypothetical arguments made outside of the tangible sphere of delivering tangible results (Kelly, Miller, and King 128). For instance, an agreement that in an audience whereby children make up below 25 percent of the group, then ads that contain junk food can be advertised. This puts children at a significant risk still, as even barely twenty percent of children in an audience of three thousand people means 600 children are predisposed to junk food consumption. Therefore, this argument especially makes regulation of ads meaningless at best, which would better not be regulated (Livingstone 91). Indeed, research data confirms that in the US, one in every three children is declared obese at their eleventh birthday, which means the regulatory systems are as good as absent in effect. It is thus compromised that instead of spending millions of dollars try to put mechanisms in place and coming up with strategies to regulate advertisement of foods on TV to children, the funds could be used to enlighten the community as a whole on the dangers of junk food on the health of children, a move that will generate an informed society, that is self-regulatory (Ramsey 33). Furthermore, the regulation of advertisement of foods on TV is losing meaning in the twenty-fist century, considering that other social media platforms readily available to children between the age of five to seventeen years are available. It is through this media that foods are being advertised to children, including Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp (Boyland 38). Therefore, there is not need to regulate food advertisements on TV, rather, suitable strategies should be formulated that are pertinent to the effects of globalization and the shifting culture of the world because of technological inventions. The new and efficient mechanism would be more instrumental in containing food related problems than regulating TV ads which are being phased out fast.

The rebuttal and hence the final position to the above counterargument is that strategies for advertisements of junk food to children have shifted to other modes of social media. However, efforts in containing advertisements on TV ads should not be abandoned entirely. Indeed, regulating TV ads is the first step towards a robust climax of threatening and eventually putting them under regulation as well (Stier 21). Furthermore, it is agreeable that the effect of regulating advertisements on TV are limited to the achievement of the set objectives. However, it is critical that this regulation is only understood as a pace setter. All responsible stakeholders including the parents, government, and human rights societies should join effort in launching common efforts to overcome the challenges of junk foods in the society (Holland 48). The position is, the effects of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus type II are many among poor diet-related diseases, which affects the whole population exposed in childhood, and hence the need to appreciate every single step made in the guest to regulating the causal effects, of which one is regulating Food Advertisements Targeting Children on TV.

Works Cited

Boyland, Emma. "Link between Food Advertising and Child Food Consumption." EurekAlert! N.p., 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 3 Mar. 2017.

"Child Obesity - Too Many Kids Are Too Heavy, Too Young." Obesity Prevention Source. Harvard School of Public Health, 08 Apr. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

Darvin, Brady. "Regulating Food Advertising to Children Will Not Reduce Obesity." Obesity. Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

Holland, K. E et al. “Our girth is plain to see: An analysis of newspaper coverage of Australia's Future Fat Bomb.” Health, Risk & Society 13.1 (2011): 31-46. Web

Kelly, Bridget, Rohan Miller, and Lesley King. “The Case for and against the Regulation of Food Marketing Directed towards Children.” A Modern Epidemic: Export Perspective on Obesity and Diabetes (2012): 129–143. Web.

Livingstone, Sonia. "New Research on Advertising Foods to Children: An Updated Review of the Literature." CORE. Office of Communications (Ofcom). Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

Ramsey, William a. “Rethinking Regulation of Advertising Aimed at Children.” Children 58.2 (2006): 367–399. Web.

Raine, Kim et al. "Restricting Marketing to Children: Consensus on Policy Interventions to Address Obesity." Journal of Public Health Policy. Palgrave Macmillan, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.

Stier, Jeff. "Regulating Junk Food Advertising-The Next Nanny State Initiative." Townhall, 13 July 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

Termini, Roseann B., Thomas a. Roberto, and Shelby G. Hostetter. “Food Advertising and Childhood Obesity : A Call to Action for Proactive Solutions.” Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 12.2 (2011): 619–650. Web.

Tsai, Marisa. "8 Countries Taking Action Against Junk Food Marketing." Food. Alternet, 27 June 2016. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

April 13, 2023

Food Business Family

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