Ask any resident of a McCarthy and Stone development, and they’ll tell you that kids’ diets have changed dramatically over the years, with more processed food, E numbers and additives finding their way into our children’s tummies.
Though parents still want their offspring to eat healthily, when it comes to meal times, kids often have other ideas, choosing chips over salad, cheese over greens and covering everything that’s left in gallons of ketchup.
With many different factors affecting kids these days, pinpointing specific food influences can be tough. However, as children watch increasing amounts of TV, adverts are bound to have an impact on their eating fads, potentially teaching them bad habits and setting them up for an unhealthy diet in the future.
Morrisons TV ad
The debate has recently been reignited thanks to a controversial ad campaign launched by food retailer Morrisons. In the offending advert, a mother prepares a burger for her young daughter while they talk about school.
The girl then proceeds to remove the salad, onion and tomato from the burger, placing it all on the side of her plate. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, the advert implies that the girl won’t eat the salad later, and therefore ‘condoned’ poor eating habits and an unhealthy diet.
Do adverts really impact kids eating habits?
Though the answer to this question will vary from family to family, research has shown that TV really does have a negative impact on kids’ health.
A UK study that followed kids over 30 years found that for every extra hour of TV they watched at the weekends at the age of five, their risk of being obese rose by 7%.
Though there may be other factors involved, the researchers placed a large amount of the blame at the feet of junk food adverts that promoted bad eating habits.
What can be done to reverse bad eating habits?
If your young children are proving to be fussy eaters, getting advice from your parents or another elderly relative can be a huge help. They’ll generally have a good idea of what a healthy diet should entail and will be able to guide you through the process.
Limiting the amount of time your kids spend watching TV can also make a big difference, as can changing the channel during breaks to prevent them watching junk food adverts altogether.
This is a commissioned guest post