Commentary

Commercialized Sexualization and the Choice to Opt Out

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

My initial thoughts about the Canadian couple refusing to make public the sex of their baby were not kind. It seemed like just another media circus fomented by parents exploiting their children for celebrity—like Jon and Kate, or the balloon boy. But two things made me change my mind. I listened to an actual interview with the couple on the CBC.

Let’s tell Big Food to stop acting like spoiled kids—and stop inciting real kids to nag for junk food.

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

The food industry is throwing a zillion-dollar tantrum to quash proposed national nutritional guidelines for food advertised to kids. Meanwhile, yet another research study came out demonstrating the harm done by advertising directly to children. 

Blue About "The Smurfs"

by: 

Shara Drew

My contemporaries and I should be called Generation Deregulation. Born in the early 1980's, we were the first to grow up immersed in TV programs designed to sell us stuff. G.I. Joe, My Little Pony,Strawberry ShortcakeNinja Turtles—these were the shows that dominated our after school time and playground play. Cartoon-linked products (lunch boxes, toys, clothing, you name it) were staples. Ours was a media- and merchandise-saturated environment from the get-go. We didn’t know any other world. 

The Real Trouble With Breast Milk Baby

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

The controversy brewing over a new breastfeeding doll soon to be sold in the United States reminds me of the bru-ha-ha about Teletubbies when Jerry Falwell accused Tinky Winky of being gay. People rightfully upset about homophobia came to the support of the show, misguidedly defending the goodness ofTeletubbies—which was being marketed, falsely, as educational for babies.

The Economics of School Bus Advertising

by: 

Josh Golin

As the economic pressures on school districts intensify, more and more are considering turning to school bus advertising as a way of ameliorating their budget woes. The impulse is understandable, but it would be great if more school boards did their homework before deciding to make compulsory exposure to school bus ads a part of children’s school day. In addition to being ethically unsound, school bus ads just don’t pay.

Who Put McDonald's in Charge of Kids' Health?

by: 

Michele Simon

When McDonald’s sneezes, the media jumps. Such was the case yesterday when the fast food giantannounced it was giving the Happy Meal a makeover. Well not really, but that’s how it got reported, because the media loves simple stories. But when it comes to marketing and PR by multinational corporations, nothing is ever that simple.

Hope and Hypocrisy Under the Golden Arches

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

As advocates for deep change know, big success is often preceded by small incremental changes that may go unnoticed by the general public. It seems the effort to stop fast food companies from hawking toys to kids is gaining ground.

Last week I was watching Friday Night Lights (a great show if I don’t fret about the product placement) and blithely forwarding through the commercials when an ad for McDonald’s Happy Meals stopped me cold. There were no toys. Intrigued, I rewound and watched in real time:

The Mind/Body Problem: Why we should all be advocating for limits on children’s screen time

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

I’m troubled by an apparent split over children’s screen time between the guardians of children’s health and the guardians of their education. The public health community, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, is intensifying efforts to set limits on the amount of time young children spend with screen technology—one to two hours per day for older children and no screen time for babies and toddlers.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary