Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: 89% of Children's Foods Provide Poor Nutrition

15 July 2008

89% of Children's Foods Provide Poor Nutrition

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From Science Daily:

Most kids' foods provide poor nutritional quality, but packaging claims and healthy images could be misleading parents, according to a Canadian study. Professor Charlene Elliott used US guidelines to review 367 products. 70 percent of the products had higher than recommended sugar levels, 23 percent had high fat levels and 17 percent had high salt levels.

Nine out of ten regular food items aimed specifically at children have a poor nutritional content -- because of high levels of sugar, fat or sodium - according to a detailed study of 367 products published in the July issue of the UK-based journal Obesity Reviews.

Just under 70 per cent of the products studied - which specifically excluded confectionery, soft drinks and bakery items - derived a high proportion of calories from sugar. Approximately one in five (23 per cent) had high fat levels and 17 per cent had high sodium levels. Despite this, 62 per cent of the foods with poor nutritional quality (PNQ) made positive claims about their nutritional value on the front of the packet.

So if you count the sodas, candies, and twinkies that are marketed to children, the fraction of kids' foods that provide poor nutrition probably rises to well above 95%. Is it any wonder that our kids are becoming obese, which causes them to have health problems in the future?

This isn't really new information. We've known that our kids are getting fatter, and that the additives in their food are exasperating problems like
Attention Deficit Disorder. And our response has been to subsidize junk food and to give professional marketers greater access to our kids. We pay agribusiness giants like ADM and Con-Agra billions to the corn that sweetens soda, that fattens pigs and cattle, and that makes up the lion's share of "chicken" mcnuggets. We put TVs in our kids' bedrooms and even classrooms, and we let fast food companies advertise in school buses and on school book covers. And we let soda companies and fast food restaurants sell their wares inside our schools. And taxpayers underwrite all of this, as we allow the people who are poisoning our kids to deduct the cost of advertising from their taxes.

Maybe it's time to start protecting our kids with a little common-sense regulation.

(cross posted at appletree)

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4 Comments:

Anonymous R J Adams said...

Regulation! Go wash your mouth out with soap, Gordo. This is America, 'Land of the Free' - and freedom means NO regulation.

America's beginning to learn the longterm effects of 'no-regulation': prohibitive oil prices; crashing economy; housing slump - and loads of kids sick from eating junk food.

Today, Benanke began imposing regulation on the finance sector. There's an old adage about a horse and a stable door, I believe?

3:17 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

I wonder how many of today's kids - and their own kids, wives, etc - have more than just health worries ahead?

Strike ballot over 'fat' fireman

Kevin Ogilvie was dismissed after 22 years of service

Firefighters have agreed to ballot for strike action over the sacking of a colleague who management decided was overweight and not fit for duty.

Kevin Ogilvie was dismissed by Grampian Fire and Rescue after 22 years, on the grounds he posed a safety risk.


More here.

11:45 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

Oops! Here's the link.

11:46 am  
Blogger Moon Rattled said...

I'm a little behind but it may interest you to know (in light of the Canadian behind the research) that Canada's neo-con prime minister has a plan in place to do away with independent food inspection and allow private food manufacturers to self-regulate. (Ditto for the information on food labels.) Corporations that cunningly excel at finding loopholes will no longer have to worry about meeting some standard. (Even the private food manufacturers have told the PM this is a very bad idea that won't lead to anything good.) Yes, we have the second worst administration in the democratic world... Also, Harper has always been a keen supporter of George Bush. You might want call them soul[less] mates.

4:30 am  

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