Health coalition asks Nickelodeon to stop marketing sugary and fatty snacks to children

A coalition of health groups thinks maybe it’s time to enlist SpongeBob in the childhood obesity fight. Earlier this week, the groups asked the Nickelodeon Channel to stop airing commercials that promote unhealthy foods with the help of the doofy adorable sponge, among other lovable characters the children’s channel employs. The letter the groups signed asked that Nickelodeon’s parent company, Viacom, put in place strong nutrition standards for the foods marketed by it and by its characters. Their sentiment was strongly backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Elise Viebeck of The Hill‘s Healthwatch blog quotes the letter: “Research shows that food marketing is an important factor contributing to children’s poor diets and obesity. The majority of foods marketed to children remain of poor nutritional quality. The [federal Institute of Medicine] concluded that marketing puts children’s health at risk.” The letter went on to shake its finger at Nickelodeon for being behind Disney and other prominent child marketers on this front. (Read more)

This comes on the same day that the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center release study results that found obese children may be more susceptible to food advertising than
healthy-weight children, suggesting at least one reason the
nation’s childhood obesity rate could continue to climb as feared. (Read more)

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