Michelle believes that in order to effectively combat childhood obesity, we need to ban junk food from the schools and eliminate unfair marketing practices towards children; such as TV commercials and toys with children's meals. Sarah Palin on the other hand feels that this is overkill; that parents should decide what their kids have and don't have and such legislation would prevent right of choice.
As a health professional I have to stand behind Michelle on this one. If these sort of changes don't happen, parents don't actually stand a chance. Sarah Palin has forgotten one important issue when it comes to food choices and children. I think the following video captures it nicely. I'll continue my discussion below it.
The problem is, these children have been manipulated and they don't even realize it. They don't want the happy meal just because it's good tasting, they want it because their favorite cartoon character is on the bag, or there is a great toy inside. They don't want that sugary cereal just because it tastes so great; they want it because they believe if they have it, they'll have as much fun as the children in the commercial.
Children don't have the mental capacity to realize they are being manipulated by these commercials and companies, yet companies spend billions of dollars marketing to children every year. While Timmy can't go running out with mom's credit card and buy whatever his little heart desires, he does have the ability to influence his parent's spending behaviors in many ways.
Many countries including Sweden and New Zealand have banned such advertising. I personally believe these unfair practices should also be removed. If you still want to get your child their happy meal as a treat, go for it, but let's do away with the manipulative advertising so that parents have a better chance at making the right choices for their children.
Nagging is a powerful tool and marketers know that.