Today Kellogg, in an move to stem the threat of lawsuit by two advocacy groups (the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood), has agreed to change the formula of many of its popular (sugary) breakfast cereals to more healthy recipes. If Kellogg fails to be able to revamp these products and still maintain the taste that makes them popular, it has agreed not to advertise to children under 12.
As part of its new commitments, Kellogg won’t market to children any food that has more than 200 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of sugar, or any trans fat, per single serving. This means that Kellogg products that don’t meet these criteria can’t be advertised on television, radio, print and third-party Web sites whose main audience is young children.
One thing that struck me odd about this whole issue, is Kellogg’s agreement not to market to children under 12. How many children under 12 do the grocery shopping? None that I know of. So, in my opinion, the problem isn’t that Kellogg advertises Fruit Loops to the kiddie crowd, but that parents don’t say “NO” when junior rushes in begging for Apple Jacks during his 8 hours of television watching.
Parents, Kellogg isn’t taking our hands and making us put Pop Tarts into the grocery cart. And if Fruit Loops or Pop Tarts do make themselves home with us, our kids don’t need to eat them every day (or several times a day). If kids are getting fat, it isn’t Kellogg’s fault. It’s parents’ abrogation of responsibility. It’s tough to say “no” what seems like a million times a day, but that’s our job as a parents. Each time we fail in our responsibilities (usually because it is just hard to be responsible all the time) we allow advocacy groups and our government to step in and do the job we should be doing. Before you know it, the busybodies are in our lives for everything because we don’t have the backbone to do it ourselves. They are telling us how to raise our kids, what to drive, what to wear, what to eat and what to think. Is this what we want, really, when all we need to do is step up to the plate and do our jobs?
Just a reminder, this is what could happen in our country if we let the busybodies take responsibility where we won’t:
Doctors [In Britain] are calling for obesity to be possible grounds for children being taken away from their parents.
The British Medical Association will be asked at its annual meeting later this month to back the designation of obesity in under-12s as an act of neglect.
Before long, this will be happening here. Guaranteed.
Parents of the country: Learn to say “NO” to your children. It’s good for you, good for them, and keeps the busybodies from having an opportunity to interfere.