I don't routinely watch child programming, however when I do (either with my nephews or purposely creeping YTV out of genuine curiousty) I am shocked by the advertisements targeting children. These advertisements aren't just toy advertisements but all sorts of food ones (and unhealthy foods). In fact, a recent article found that over 90% of food advertisements to children and teens were for unhealthy foods (e.g. high in fat, salt, or sugar).
This is a major concern because childhood obesity is on the rise, with 30% of Canadian children 2-17 years of age being either overweight or obese (2). In addition, children are spending more and more time in front of screens, with the average Canadian child spending approximately 14 hours per week watching television (3). That is television alone, not taking into account other screen times including video games, ipads, or school related screen time. This means that a lot of children are spending their time in front of screens, which ultimately leads to increased advertisement exposure!
The good news is senator Nancy Green Raine has introduced an act to prohibit this type of marketing to children under the age of 13. The heart and stroke foundation is urging that this act be passed without any further delay. (1)
Read more about this topic by clicking here to access the CBC news article.
Until next time,
Eat Right Feel Right- Angela XO
(1) CBC news - health. Stop targeting our kids with ads for unhealthy food and drinks, report urges. Feb 1, 2017.
2) Shields M., & Tremblay M. S. (2010). Canadian childhood obesity estimates based on WHO, IOTF and CDC cut-points. Int J Pediatr Obes, 5(3): 265-273.
3) Canadian Paediatric Society (2003). Impact of media use on children and youth. Position Statement. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792691/
Istock photo: istockphoto.com - Credit:LittleBee80