Too much TV is unhealthy for kids.

A whopping 90% of children under the age of two watch at least 2 hours of television per day. They are either sitting directly in front of the TV watching their favorite programs or the television is on in the background.

Too much time in front of the television has been linked to increased childhood obesity rates.  It reduces time for playful activity and exposes children to ads that encourage un-healthy eating.

Healthy alternatives from food and beverage companies does not mitigate the impact advertising has on childhood obesity.  New campaigns are blaming obesity on the family.

Watch the following video from Coco Cola and how deceptive their new ‘healthy options’ campaign really is.

Children under the age of two should not be watching TV at all.  No more than 2 hours a day according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What can you do to limit television for children in your care?

As an organization you can…

  • Remove televisions from waiting rooms or turn them off when lots of children are present.
  • Place vending machines where children can’t see them.
  • Avoid contests or giveaways targeted for children involving unhealthy food or beverages.
  • Instead try social marketing or education campaigns that encourage healthy foods!

Dr. Diane Dooley presented more information about screen time and the effects of advertising to our Leadership Council.

Download Dr. Dooley’s unhealthy marketing presentation here: Marketing2013.ppt

We will be drafting a new policy to reduce marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to young children, which will be part of our 2013-14 “Pledge the Practice. Pass the Policy” mini-grant initiative, so stay tuned!

Do you think children are watching too much tv? What are you doing to keep your children away from negative marketing?

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