Disney Entertainment, in an effort to play a role in combating childhood obesity, has announced it will limit junk food advertising on its various media outlets. Yes, boys and girls, SUGAR is now a 4-letter word. Perish the thought that children might see Tony Tiger hawking “Sugar Frosted Flakes.”Oh wait. They are now simply “FROSTED Flakes.” I don’t know what “Sugar Bear’s” new name is. But, the cereal he used to represent was “Sugar Crisp,” now known as “Golden Crisp.” And poor little Sugar Pops Pete – I don’t know what happened to him. But, his cereal is now just “Corn Pops.” Again – we must avoid that nasty “S-word.”
At the risk of sounding like an old fogey/fuddy duddy, I’ve got to tell you. When I was a child, the greatest threat to our future – our worst fear, as a generation was the BOMB – THE bomb! Throughout that Cold War era, we woke each morning, wondering if this might be the day the Russians would “push the button.” In school, we regularly practiced “duck and cover” drills, as part of our nation’s Civil Defense program.
Yet, we never had a plan for any WAR ON SUGAR.
My children were never overweight. Maybe it was genetic, or simply because they played outside whenever possible. They were always riding bikes, roller skating, swimming, and jumping on the trampoline. My kids were perpetual motion. Even after video games came along, it was not until after dark that they planted their little behinds in front of the TV with Mario, Zelda, Punch Out, etc.
Even today, I don’t actually know any overweight kids. I am, by no means, equating the “childhood obesity epidemic” with global warming. I’m not denying its existence. Who am I to question the First Lady? I just really don’t know that many – if any, obese children.
Therefore, my question: Can this “war” really be won by demonizing sugar?
Further, if we must police the television ads children will see, I suggest we begin by eliminating those libido igniting and male performance problem medication commercials from all prime time shows, and in any time slot on TVLAND and the Nickelodeon channels. TVLAND, previously known as a “family channel” now even runs those sleazy “phone-for-sex-talk” commercials.
If television advertising is truly the singular driving influence on the children of today, and wields an influence that powerful, perhaps our real concern is an entire generation of fat, “frisky,” little buggers all hopped up on Cialis.
Now, for the proverbial “call to action:”
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