Fat Kids Not Advertising's Fault

Gathering recent research the Association of National Advertiser's Dan Jaffe makes a compelling argument which debunks the myth advertising is at the heart of childhood obesity. Citing fat kids in countries with no food advertising and a 13 percent decline in kid-directed food advertising over the past ten years, Jaffe makes a convincing statement. Perhaps we should stop blaming McDonald's and start looking to other causes such as the sedentary lifestyle of too much television and gaming, the decline of gym class in schools or th fact no one cooks well rounded meals anymore. Think about it.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 2-05   Click to Comment   

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If Ronald McDonald, the Subservient Chicken and their ilk don't bear at least some of the blame for this country's obesity epidemic, it stands to reason that Joe Camel can't be held responsible for kids who smoke.

True, nobody is forcing people to stuff artery-clogging fast food down their pie holes. They do that of their own free will and must suffer the consequences accordingly.

But as one of the posters to a previous topic noted so astutely, corporations like McDonald's and Burger King wouldn't spend obscene amounts of money on advertising if it didn't work. So they - and their advertising agencies - must assume their fair share of cuplability.

Posted by: The Late David Ogilvy on June 2, 2005 11:09 AM

Excuses, excuses, excuses. That's what this society is good at. Everything is someone else's fault: it's the restaurants, no, it's the schools', wait a minute, it's the country's fault! But nobody has the guts to accept responsibility for their own actions. In this case, the parents need to wake up and smell the roses. Yes, ads are everywhere and will continue to be everywhere, enticing EVERYONE (not just kids) to eat like pigs. But why is it that some kids and adults lead healthy lives? What makes them special? Maybe those kids have RESPONSIBLE parents who spend more time parenting and less time whining about how their problems are not their fault.

Posted by: Vera Vanicek on June 2, 2005 1:11 PM

I agree with Vera. Society can't victimize blacks, jews, catholics and gays anymore. Because of this we need "porkers" as an outlet for the baser human emotions: fear, anger and loathing come to mind as good starting points. Plus fatties are funny to look at. Pass that kid a Big Mac, I feel a Pogrom coming on.

Posted by: Mcthingy2 on June 2, 2005 7:23 PM

I agree that people need to take responsibilty for their own actions.

All the more reason why McDonald's, Burger King, et al - and their advertising agencies - shouldn't be let off the hook. They are selling stuff they know isn't healthy.

Nobody's forcing people to eat Soylent Green-style hamburgers and chicken sandwiches. But then, nobody's forcing people to sell and market them either.

Hard to say what's worse: the stupidity of the public or the cupidity of the fast food giants and their ad agencies.

Thank God we at least have sensitive souls like McThingy around.

Posted by: The Late David Ogilvy on June 2, 2005 8:26 PM

People in this country take their children to McDonald's before the child has teeth & let them gum on a grease soaked french fry or chicken nugget. Is that advertising's fault? The end decision of what a child eats is the parent's choice. If that parent chooses to go to McDonald's, or any other lame alternative for that matter, instead of cooking a well-rounded meal for his/her family is that advertising's fault? The fault lies with the parents. I have never seen Ronald McDonald or Birdie or The Hamburgler force-feed anyone. Don't get me wrong, I know about fast food cravings & will bow to them once & a while. I'm not a health nut by any means. I do know that trying to blame advertising for what goes into anyone's mouth is ridiculous. Advertising is supposed to be alluring & enjoyable & most times it is. But I've yet to see an ad that has put me in a trance & led me to do anything against my will.

Posted by: Lydia on June 3, 2005 1:33 PM

Is it just me... or does the fat kid on the photo resemble an action figure? (With Big-Mac Grip!)

Posted by: A.R.Yngve on June 6, 2005 8:47 AM

Following your line of reasoning, Lydia, then the tobacco companies shouldn't have been forced to cough up (no pun intended) that huge settlement some years back that funded the "Truth" anti-smoking campaign. After all, nobody put a gun to people's head forcing them to smoke either.

Posted by: Thulsa Doom on June 6, 2005 9:34 AM

Can't we all just agree that fat kids like the lardy lad above should be free to pursue a lifetime of ridicule and self-loathing? Jeesh.

Posted by: Mcthingy2 on June 6, 2005 12:16 PM


Posted by: ZUHELY on July 17, 2007 7:19 AM