No, Online Marketing Isn't Making Your Kids Fat
from the I-don't-think-that's-how-it-works... dept
For years, we've been hearing all sorts of stories blaming technology for making kids fat, whether it's TV, video games, sitting around on the internet or not getting enough sleep because they're playing with gadgets all night. Of course, almost all of those are anecdotal reports based on what people think is the reason for childhood obesity. When you look at the actual research, it shows that there's simply no connection between technology and fat kids. Of course, that doesn't make for a good headline... so, again, we get stories about obese kids, where technology is to blame. This time it's even more ridiculous than usual. While you can sort of understand the reasoning for the other claims, the latest is that online marketing is making our kids fat. Apparently, the reason our kids are so fat (or so the claim goes) is because unhealthy foods are being advertised to kids via online marketing. The folks making this claim are now asking the FTC to step in and stop such ads. Of course, this ignores the fact that it's still the parents who are buying the food for the kids and its still the kids who are eating the food. The article quotes a mother who complains that it's difficult to not let her kids eat at McDonalds more than twice a month -- though, she doesn't explain why she can't just refuse to take them there. Instead, she says how difficult it is to explain that McDonalds is unhealthy. Why? That part isn't explained. It's certainly true that these brands focus some advertisements towards kids, but that's no excuse for not teaching kids the importance of healthy eating.