Spreading Love & Knowledge


We all know that kids are easy targets for commercials boosting not so healthy treats – “Choco Dracula” and multi colored juice drinks get kids excited and ready to beg mom or dad to buy them.


Yet do parents know that we are actually the targets of advertising campaigns made to manipulate us into believing certain foods are actually nutritious?


A new study published in the Journal Pediatrics may surprise you when it comes to how manipulative these commercials can be.


Foods targeted at parents were featured in commercials showing family togetherness, such as family mealtime, kissing and hugging in the kitchen as a child is given a seemingly nutritious food by mom or dad. Watching a commercial like these makes you want to run out and stock your kitchen with these “wholesome” foods.


The problem is, these foods aren’t wholesome at all. They’re full of artificial preservatives, colorings and tons of sugar.


Big products targeted at parents are sugar-sweetened drinks, with 73 percent of their ad time targeted at parents. We know juice drinks cause obesity, cavities and diabetes, yet if you watch one of these ads you could almost believe they are an important part of a healthy, active, loving family!


When you see an Ad for juices and cereals that claim to be nutritious, remind yourself that they are all about making money. They don’t have you and your family’s best interest at heart.


Then ask yourself to remember what you already likely know: water and milk is best, sweetened juices aren’t to be consumed as a daily staple.


Use your common sense at breakfast – cereals like Cheerios that have minimal ingredients are best. If your cereal has characters in different colors in them, plus 30+ grams of sugar in a serving, cut it out!


As far as snacks go, the less processed the better: Oranges and apples instead of orange or apple juice, trail mix instead of packaged cookies, and any fruits or veggies your child will eat over anything else!!


We live in a society that is geared toward sales of packaged food, period. Our kids are easy prey for the ads reflecting this, but we don’t have to be. It’s more work for parents but it’s worth our while.


Next time you watch TV I challenge you to spot these bogus commercials – it just may surprise you!

Written by

0phthalmologist & Health Professional