Could Fewer McDonald's Ads Make Kids Eat Less McDonald's?This past summer, the Evil Food Conglomerates of America agreed to "limit" advertising that "targeted children," though their definition of that is loose enough to keep selling a lot of Pop-Tarts to 13-year-olds. They did this to try to preclude some kind of rule that would outlaw their advertising to children altogether. Unfortunately for the Hamburglar, a new study is out that has people actually talking about banning youth-targeted fast food ads, which would really be an incredible thing. "No fatties," the study proclaims:
"The study measured the number of fast-food ads kids watched and found a fast-food TV-ad ban for children's programming would reduce the number of overweight children aged 3 to 11 by 18%, and for adolescents (12- to 18-year-olds) by 14%."
You could expect McDonald's et al. to pull out the real big guns to fight any sort of proposed law that would legally restrict their marketing. It's un-American! Yes it is, but the smart countries have done it:
Sweden and Norway instituted bans on all ads to children in the early 1990s, but the legislation sought to avoid exploitation rather than prevent obesity. Quebec has banned food advertising to children during programs geared toward kids, and the Canadian province has shown lower childhood obesity rates than surrounding areas.
The Scandinavians really are our superiors. [Ad Age]