A lack of physical activity is harmful to physical and mental well being and may also exclude a child from critical social development. Healthy Eating SF Gate.
Much of that money goes to licensing fees that allow the companies to put popular TV and movie characters on their packages. This worries some health experts, in large part because licensed characters appear most often on junk food. This Hostess snack dates to the early s, when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were A-list celebrities among the and-under set.
When food companies put a TV or movie character on the package, they often modify the product itself. The crust of the pudding pie, shown at left, was dyed a delicious turtle green. TV and movie characters have been used to hawk a wide variety of products.
The Nickelodeon star SpongeBob SquarePants, shown here on a box of sugary popsicles, has also been a pitchman for spinach, carrots, and fruit. That may seem like a positive thing, but some experts say that it will just confuse children in the end.
If kids begin to associate SpongeBob with healthy foods such as carrots, the thinking goes, they may end up believing that popsicles are nutritious, too.
The Shrek movies are wildly popular with kids, so it should come as no surprise that the title character is one of the most commonly used faces on junk-food packaging. The organization identified 17 distinct food promotions pegged to the release of Shrek the Third. The line between food and entertainment gets very blurry when food products—such as these Ninja Turtle cookies—are made to resemble the TV and movie characters that appear on the box. Some food products, such as these Star Wars -themed Pop-Tarts, use characters that are aimed at older children or perhaps fanatic adults.
But most marketing strategies that use licensed characters are targeted to young kids. Kids who regularly indulge in junk food may be at increased risk for health complications like obesity and depression.
Junk food can be appealing for a variety of reasons, including convenience, price and taste. For children, who do not always understand the health consequences of their eating habits, junk food may appear especially appetizing. However, regularly consuming fattening junk food can be addictive for children and lead to complications like obesity, chronic illness, low self-esteem and even depression, as well as affecting how they perform in school and extracurricular activities.
Junk food and foods with high sugar content deplete energy levels and the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. Energy and focus are especially crucial for school-age children. Children set the foundation for lifelong habits in their youth, making junk food particularly hazardous to their well-rounded development.
Physical activity is also essential for children of all ages, and regularly eating junk food does not provide the necessary nutrients children need for sufficient energy to engage in physical activity. A lack of physical activity is harmful to physical and mental well being and may also exclude a child from critical social development. According to this study, kids who ate fast food were more likely to consume a higher amount of calories, fat, carbohydrates and added sugars in one fast food meal.
They were also less likely to consume as much fiber, milk and fruits and vegetables as children who did not eat fast food. Children who consumed more fattening foods while eating fast food were also likely, in general, to eat more unhealthy foods at other meals.
These factors were found to place children who regularly ate fast food at increased risk for obesity. According to the Prevention Institute, experts blame junk food for rising rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. Increasing rates of chronic illness affect children who regularly consume junk food. Diabetes can result in disability and premature death. The Center for Food Safety noted in that obese children are also more likely to develop high cholesterol and heart disease later in life.
Kids who regularly indulge in junk food may be at increased risk for health complications like obesity and depression. Most "junk food" falls into the categories of either "snack food" or "fast food." And then there are things like breakfast cereals. They seem innocent enough, but some of them could definitely be considered "junk food," as they mostly contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and white flour or milled corn. Some food products, such as these Star Wars-themed Pop-Tarts, use characters that are aimed at older children (or perhaps fanatic adults). But most marketing strategies that use licensed characters are targeted to young kids. Children under age 7 or 8 are the most vulnerable to .