Earlier this week, a group of health organizations, pediatricians and nutrition experts - including Stanford's Christopher Gardner, PhD - penned a letter (.pdf) asking the kids channel Nickelodeon to be more responsible in its marketing of food. Noting that the "majority of foods marketed to children remain of poor nutritional quality," and that Nickelodeon, "as the number one entertainment company for children... has enormous influence over children’s food choices and thus their lifelong habits and health," they wrote:
We urge you to implement strong nutrition standards for all of the company’s food marketing to children, including all television advertising on Nickelodeon channels (including Nickelodeon, NickToons, TeenNick, and Nick Jr.), company Internet sites, mobile platforms, and other places Nickelodeon reaches children. We also urge you to strengthen your policy on the use of licensed characters by applying specific nutrition standards to their use.
If the channel and its parenting company agree to make changes, perhaps we'll start to see more things like Dora the Explorer-branded baby carrots in stores.
Previously: The First Amendment and marketing junk food to kids, How to combat childhood obesity? Try everything, In study, majority of kid’s foods marketed as “good for you” actually weren’t, Can rebranding make kids choose veggies over junk food? and Using psychology to entice students to eat healthier
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