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Childhood Obesity and How Big Companies Influence Children and Their Parents


Where concerns about a child’s nutrition used to focus on dietary insufficiency, now the most serious dietary issue affecting children is OBESITY, the result of eating more food than is needed, rather than too little. Childhood obesity Levels are rapidly increasing and almost all paediatrician reports show kids have High Blood Pressure, High Serum Cholesterol levels as well as Adult Onset Diabetes at earlier and earlier ages. All of these issues come from consuming too many calories. As well as these, Cardiovascular and other Chronic Disease risks increase later in life due too such unhealthy childhoods.


So here are some facts I have previously studied in depth during my years of University studies and how I feel  large companies have such a huge influence in Childhood Obesity.


Past statistics show kids obtained 50% of their calories from added fat (30%) and sugar (20%) and only 1% of them regularly ate diets that resemble the proportions of the food pyramid. Diets of half (49%) of all children failed to meet any of the serving numbers recommended, NOT EVEN ONE OF THEM!!!


So Marketers know that kids make attractive customers and the attention now paid to kids increases year on year. Coincidence that obesity rates constantly rise? I don’t think so.


TV Advertising: Children spend more time watching TV, playing computers and on the internet (40 hours) than anything else but sleeping.  Ok so in 1990 researchers counted 225 adverts on major channels during Saturday mornings, in 1993 this flew up to 433 and more than doubled by 1995 to 997. From these adverts 71% of them (160) in 1990, 61% (264) in 1993 and 57% (564) in 1995 advertised Foods and Drinks of no nutritional value, Presweetened Breakfast Cereals, Sweets, biscuits, Crisps, Drinks and Fast Food. During this study ABSOLUTELY 0, ZERO, NIL, NONE for Vegetables, Fruit, Bread or Fish. % may have lowered but as you can see the number of adverts more than tripled. CHILDREN ARE SUBJECTED TO SO MUCH MORE ADVERTISING OF POOR FOODS WITH 0 NUTRITIONAL VALUE.


Past TV: McDonalds offer Toys , Cups, Cinema offers, Birthday Parties, Logoed items and much more. M&Ms in some places in the world have huge multi flooded stores that sell absolutely everything Toys, Clothes, Games, Watches, Key Rings, Cutlery and I could go on and on. Toys in Cereal boxes, Crisp packets and Fizzy Drinks etc. COCA COLA offer collectables during sporting events such as the football World Cup, even such things as Barbie Dolls, EVEN BABY BOTTLES WITH THEIR LOGO ON!!!


AND HERE IS WHERE THEY’RE CLEVER. Big companies state they are interested in a child’s quality of life and education and sneakily show this by offering educational puzzles and books when a certain amount of tokens are collected to be able to get them. So more and more of the nutritionally poor items are bought and consumed by the kids (they’re happy) and the parents see it as a positive because they are getting educational items at the same time, therefore the big companies have succeeded perfectly in what they set out.


Is it any wonder the children of today are getting bigger and bigger. Here I am scratching the surface and have 100s of pages in this area so please mail me if you would like some more in depth info.