Last week, four federal agencies announced new principles governing food marketing to children. Will these voluntary principles lead to significant change? Unlikely, say Marion Nestle and Melanie Warner. (And food companies already have shown they can’t self-regulate.)
But let’s hope some of it sticks. Because we really don’t need more “healthy” vending machines like this, you know?
For more on why voluntary steps alone won’t curb the absurd marketing (remember McEducation?), read two great takes from two great writers having fun with this decidedly un-funny problem:
“Show me the whites of your eyes”
Cheryl Sternman Rule, of 5 Second Rule, on McDonald’s subversive online marketing: “It used to be that when a flash ad for Deep-Fried, Sugar-Coated, Highly-Processed Fat Balls appeared on the screen, we could tell our kids, ‘That’s an ad. The Deep-Fried, Sugar-Coated, Highly-Processed Fat Ball Company paid your favorite website a lot of money to try to sell you that product. Just ignore it.'”
“A voluntary pledge: A story”
Mary Finucane, of Disney Princess Recovery, on why pledging to do the right thing is a whole lot different from doing the right thing: “I take a voluntary pledge to drive cautiously every time I get in my car. But, sometimes I fail. When I’ve been pulled over for the occasional infraction, I don’t say, ‘But I took a pledge! Didn’t you see the agreement that I wrote up this morning that I signed myself? I said I would try! Awwww man! Why you always on me!'”
Disclaimer: These pictures stink. I know. I’m sorry. I was in a hurry, with a point-and-shoot. Yada yada.
Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2011 Christina Le Beau
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis). Her doctor pointed out the no. 1 culprit, aspartame, in all the so called ‘healthy’ DIET products she had been consuming (she’d lost a lot of weight in a year by doing this). So while she thought she was becoming healthier (and on a certain level she was), she was also getting a nasty, debilitating disease. The reason I’m mentioning this, is because I have only just become aware that you can find aspartame in many non-diet products too, even potato chips (usually in the ‘sweet and sour’ or ‘chutney’ flavours – or anything that tastes sweet). It’s horrifying. When you look closely, you can even find it in effervescent vitamin supplements like Berocca. It’s frightening.
MacLeod House, it’s amazing what we learn by reading ingredient labels. And that’s a must these days, because, as you and your friend found, chemical additives can lurk anywhere.
poptart = healthy snack? since when does “lack of sprinkles or flaming hot spice” = healthy? every human should take a nutrition class. it is criminal what lies advertisers tell consumers about food.
you only get one body with one set of organs folks. eat chemicals in your food on a daily basis for decades and you will muck it up. the govt won’t protect you. food manufacturers won’t protect your kids. only you can do it by reading labels (or buying things that don’t have labels) and teaching your kids and loved ones to do the same. even when they don’t want to hear it.
I know someone who runs a health club that has vending machines in the lobby. For years now they’ve been making the supplier put some healthier snacks in the machine. But, surprise, the healthy stuff doesn’t sell at all. I feel like I saw an article a couple weeks ago that celebrated the fact that people were finally starting to order healthier entrees at restaurants. Slowly but surely I guess. It sure would be nice someday to not have to pack up all kinds of snacks whenever we go out and not cringe everytime my kids eye a vending machine.