Developing a Health Advocacy Program
Coordinated Approach to Child Health
Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. These children are at …show more content…
More prevention efforts need to be done to start a downward trend in reducing excess weight gain as children grown up.
Advertising and the media are a prime position to change what food and beverages are advertised and what is linked with it. Virtually all of the more than 1.6 billion dollars that advertisers spend annually is on youth-directed marketing for processed, manufactured foods, such as baked goods, candy, frozen desserts, and breakfast cereals. Less than 1 percent is for healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables (Spector, 2010). Advertisements link super heroes, toys and games to food products that are deemed as unhealthy choices (Budd & Hayman, 2008). Changes need to happen to the current media and advertising to make stiffer regulations on what is shown to children on television, internet, billboards, videos, and audio programming.
Currently, there is no policy or law restricting what food content is advertised. Research shows that there is strong evidence that television advertising influences what children 2 to 11 choose to consume and what they pester their parents to buy them to eat (Spector, 2010). I propose a policy change for uniform and regulations in food advertisement. This policy could regulate the quantity and content of what is being advertised. Advertising companies would have to present their ads to a board of nutrition experts who can assess the nutritional value of the food and its targeted audience.