Dear LA Teacher,
What’s being done in our community and schools to educate children about unethical and unhealthy foods marketed by unscrupulous companies like Taste of Nature that manufactures such garbage as The Simpsons Fruit Snacks?
Dear Angry Consumer,
According to a Federal Trade Commission report food and beverage companies like Taste of Nature spend over $1.79 billion to market products like the Simpsons Fruit Snacks to our kids in 2009.
Since too many of our children and teens are over weight or obese, these marketers are downright sinful. The same report by the FTC notes that products heavily marketed to kids are often high in sugar, salt, and or fat. Television, Internet, and other media at school and in the community regularly expose children to messages encouraging them to eat unhealthy foods.
The problem is not easily solved, but there are a few shining lights that stand out. The European Union (EU) is one. The EU requires percentages of ingredients to be disclosed on packaging, and for the wrapping to reflect content. So, in Europe, a product like Simpsons Fruit Snacks can’t be sold because it shows pictures of oranges, cherries, and lemons on the packaging. The only fruit in the product is apples. In the EU Fruit Snacks can’t be sold because packaging doesn’t reflect truthful advertising. In the US the FDA has no problem with that.
Rob Shamberg, Certified Health Coach and president of Eating Healthy, LLC makes a few smart suggestions for consumers. First, parents should read packaging labels and only purchase healthy wholesome foods for their children. They are the ones who pack the lunchboxes, so they are responsible to pack those boxes smart.
Secondly, Shamberg encourages parents to educate their children about nutrition. Let the kids know what you are packing in their lunches and why. Once kids are educated with the facts they will become the ambassadors of nutritious truth for other kids.
Finally, write to your congressman, senators, and local government officials to regulate manufacturers to distribute healthy and nutritious foods for our kids.
Have a question about school or home? Ask LA Teacher at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit his website at http://www.michaelthal.com.