I read this article with great interest the other day. Kellogg's the world's leading cereal producer has caved to public pressure and will be upgrading the nutrition standards of the cereals that it advertises to children under the age of 12. It will be revising the caloric content and salt and sugar content of it's cereals. While I applaud this development and agree that it's a good thing for lobbyists to push for a healthier food standard, I can't help wondering about a lot of issues the article raised for me.
The first thought of course was that they could meet those guidelines just by making the portion sizes smaller, which doesn't change anything but the label.
The other thing that it had me wondering however was why is it necessary to control advertising to children? Why is it the responsibility of the food producers to make kids food healthier instead of the responsibility of parents to make informed choices as consumers? Aren't parents the ones who purchase the breakfast cereal, and aren't they able to say no and explain to their children why they are making that choice?
Perhaps I don't understand because I don't let my kids watch commercial television most of the time. If they want Dora, I'll rent the DVD. They don't watch TV unless I'm there with them. Is Shrek really more of an influence for some children than their parents are? I doubt it but I want to hear your opinion about all of this.