Disney's War On Junk Food Won't Make Our Kids Skinny

candyMy friends used to laugh at me for teaching my daughter that commercials are made "to sell you stuff." But with the huge announcement from Disney today that the media giant is cutting junk food ads, I think I get the last laugh: don't you? Even the Mouse knows that kids fall prey to marketing.

And frankly, the food ads are the absolute worst. My husband and I have been fairly successful with our campaign to convince the kid that she can't believe a word she hears on a commercial. But trying to fight the food marketing is a battle with nature.

You see food, you want food. It's as simple as that.

More from The Stir: Junk Food Could Damage Your Kid's Brain

And if my husband, who is a grown man, gives me puppy dog eyes because he is suddenly CRAVING Pizza Hut just five minutes after seeing cheesy bite crust on the television, how is your average 6-year-old supposed to fight it? You can't tell me there isn't a link between seeing something sugary onscreen and your mouth filling with water. It's nature.

And for parents, it SUCKS.

We try. We try to limit what the kid sees. But I grew up in a "TV-free" household, and I know how hard it was to come to school and meet up with kids who saw TV ... and then try to carry on a conversation. The channels have parents over a barrel, if you think about it. Our kids want to watch them, and we say yes because there is only so much we can keep at bay.

At the risk of sounding like I'm blowing the Disney horn (and considering my princess love, I know I run a little close), I was glad to hear there will be a ban on ads on Disney's kid-focused television channels (which includes ABC's Saturday morning stuff), radio stations, and websites for foods that do not meet "nutritional standards." One less ad means one less "oooh, I want that."

But I'm not kidding myself into thinking Disney will fix anything for us. As long as kids have salivary glands, their mouths are going to water at the junk food ads. And they are EVERYWHERE else.

What do you do to combat your kids' tastes for the foods they see on the TV screen?


Image via vortisic/Flickr

books & media, food, kids nutrition


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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It's not hard to avoid the ads. We watch PBS or Netflix when we want to watch TV. I not sure my kid has ever seen a food ad on TV other than during the super bowl or the Stanley cup finals because there are the only two this on commercial TV that he has the slightest interest in watching.

three... threeforme157

Actually my 2 older kids ages 7 & 5 never talk or ask about food that they see on commercials.  Sometimes they tell me about the latest toy or gadget that is advertised but that is about it.  They like junk food & eat it occasionally but more often when we are at the store they ask for different snacks that they have seen their friends eat from their lunchboxes at school.

nonmember avatar kaerae

The innane Disney shows with mouthy brats and stupid parents are doing more damage to kids' brains than a happy meal is to their body

Disney17 Disney17

Easy. You feed your kids what you want them to eat with an occasional treat. Kids can't buy groceries, so commercials don't matter.

Samantha N Kevin

Oh whatever... if you see anything by Disney on the box you know it it LOADED with synthetic dyes and preservatives. They are the worst! If they are limiting advertising for others foods it's so they can advertise their competitors less.

momma... mommaluvto5

I don't know about your children, but mine don't have a say over what we buy to eat no matter what commercials they watch.  I do the grocery shopping, so even if they are asking for a snack they saw on tv I get to say "no, that's not good for you" or "Sure we can get one for Friday night movie night!"  So it really doesn't matter what commercials are out there... I'm the mom, not Disney. 

P.s. we don't even have cable, but not because of junk food commercials.  There's a lot of other trash cable advertises in commercials and tv shows that we prefer to avoid.

Maryah Tapia

My two year old IS allowed to watch t.v., but she is ONLY allowed Nick J.r.- which is completely commercial free. She still has no idea what soda or all that "other" food in the supermarket is. I don't keep junk food in the house, but she still gets treats (McDonalds, cookies, fro-yo, ect...) from time to time. I want her to be healthy, but I also her to be a "kid" : )

Mandago Mandago

What do I do to combat it? I buy it, and feed it to my kid in moderation, balanced out by healthier choices. I'm teaching my son to function in the real world, where junk food abounds. If he can learn that Fruity Pebbles are good, but All-Bran is good and good for him, he'll carry it into adulthood.

jessi... jessicasmom1

We cook all whole foods from scratch ,  here not procesed foods

Kritika Kritika

Even as adults we can learn to eat healthier and our kids can continue to learn from us. I was visiting family for the last 2 weeks and my MIL has a heart condition that requires she eat ZERO (I mean if she has any at all she will die) sodium. So everything is cooked from scratch - even her bread - and the food consisted of a lot of veggies. I immediately lost 7 lbs in those two weeks eating the same amount I normally do. I'm now making more of an effort to cook from scratch and without salt so I can do the same thing for my kids.  

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