Advertising And Childhood Obesity Essay

2487 words - 10 pages

Americans have always had the mentality that bigger is better. Bigger cars, bigger houses, and bigger salaries are just a few ways that Americans supersize their lives. But, there is one other thing that has been growing in American households: their weight. Portion sizes are out of control, video games always beat a playground, and everything is motorized. This is the way that American children are growing up, and out. But in a society that is so obsessed with looking good and thus, thin, how are these children getting so large? Advertisements. The news has been attacking advertisements aimed at children, and rightfully so, they are showing unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits in a socially acceptable way. Children watch cartoons. Simply put, this statement has held truth for many, many years. Saturday morning cartoons have been a staple in the American household for a while now, and in between these programs, at a time when children are known to be viewing, a spread of commercials showing McDonalds, Pepsi, Kellogg cereal, etc. Thus, giving children the urge to get up from a morning of television and pouring a bowl of sugary cereal, or convince their parents to take them to McDonalds for a Happy Meal lunch. These advertisements are showing children “wants” instead of “needs.” These advertisements are promoting negative social consequences, such as obesity and health risks, including smoking and alcohol.
Through an examination of the background of advertisement aimed at children, an explanation of each side of the argument, and an analysis of each side, it can be proved that a regulation of advertisement aimed at children should be put into place. First, the background of the issue will be addressed along with a history of other countries regulations currently in place. Second, both sides of the argument will be explained in full detailed as described by sources. Thirdly, the sides will be analyzed and evaluated to show the need for restrictions on the advertisements. And in conclusion, an overview of what types of effective restrictions will be reviewed, as well as a description of how they would be put in place.
According to William Ramsey’s article found in Federal Communication Law Journal’s, “Rethinking Regulation of Advertising Aimed at Children,” a debate between the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and advertisers, has been in place since 1970 debating the need for regulation of advertisements aimed at children. Ramsey explains that after a thorough investigation, “the FCC issued a policy statement asking networks to voluntarily limit the amount of commercial time aired during programs directed at children” (Ramsey, 2006). The FTC agreed and released a document known as Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which stated that a major regulation must be put into place during children programming. Political and public response was so negative that Congress stepped in not only...

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