marketing to children

Cap'n Crunch Has Five Years to Live

New government regs will limit how sugary, fatty, unhealthy food is marketed to kids.

Cap'n Crunch Has Five Years to Live

Marketers may find it harder to get kids interested in sugary cereals...5 years from now.

She's also encouraged by the comprehensive nature of media outlets covered by the guidelines. Although television still dominates in food advertising, the Internet and other forms of electronic media are increasingly influential, particularly among preteens and teenagers. In a recent report on fast food advertising from the Rudd Center, the researchers found that McDonald's now has 13 different websites for children and teenagers. Eight of the 12 fast-food chains analyzed had created mobile phone apps accessible by teenagers, and nearly all fast-food chains have pages on Facebook and other social media sites. "The [FTC] restrictions on social media are going to be huge," she says. "It's being used to really push products to people who have expressed an interest in them, so there's lots of couponing, special offers, deals, really designed to incentivize people to purchase a product right away." In that way, she says, the ads are more powerful than a simple 30-second TV commercial. "The other part of it is the viral features," she says. "The fact that kids can let their friends know that they like Coke and that they like Burger King really taps into that age group's need for peer acceptance and need for fitting in. That's the one thing we find especially disturbing about social media."

To protect your kids from this onslaught of food marketing, try this:

• Make your TV time non-commercial. No children should be watching more than two hours of television a day, but when they are watching TV, stick with PBS (or other forms of non-commercial programming) and videos. "There was one great study that showed that the relationship between TV viewing and obesity only occurs when the TV viewing is commercial TV," Harris says. "It supports the claims that the TV commercials are leading to obesity." Rent videos or DVDs from the library, and if there's a particular TV series your children like, rent it by the season (commercial free) through Netflix.

• Keep children's bedrooms screen free. It's much more difficult to monitor what your children are doing online—and any advertisements they're getting sucked into—when both they and their computers are locked up in the bedrooms, Harris says. Same goes for television. "Also, kids who have electronic media in the bedroom are more likely to be overweight," she adds. "There are lots of negatives."

• Monitor food marketing in your schools and community. It's hard to convince your children that soda is bad when there's a soda machine at school. "Anything sold in schools is, in a way, an endorsement of that product," Harris says. "If it's sold at schools, kids don't think it's that bad." Likewise, it can be hard to argue that a local fast-food joint is unhealthy if that same fast-food joint is sponsoring your kids' soccer team. Keep an eye out for these sorts of unexpected marketing gimmicks, Harris adds. Talk to other parents, or join your school's PTA so you can keep the influence of food marketers to a minimum.

Published on: May 13, 2011
Updated on: May 15, 2011

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Learn how much happier and healthier you can be WITHOUT sugar ruining your life!


Hemp Bars also make the perfect snack food, will affect positively the glycemic index of cereal, as well as leave you with a good feeling that you have eaten something good. But the DEA is in charge of hemp growing. We should all write them and tell them we are going to vote them out next election.
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This is why the USA has an obesity problem. I work at an Phoenix web design firm and I saw a lot of articles on this. Over 30% of the US's population is obese! You do the math and then say that "Leave my Captain Crunch alone". Americans should start to eat healthier not just junk food!


You say that parents should make better decision yet you CHOOSE TO FEED YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN A CEREAL THAT IS LOADED WITH SUGAR.... A better decision would be a cereal that is lower in sugar than Capt Crunch is.


Just for comparison sake, let's compare the big, bad Captain Crunch (CC) against something good for you - Cracklin' Oat Bran (COB)...

Calories: CC-110 , COB-200
Fat: CC-1.5 , COB-7
Sat Fat: CC-1 , COB-3
Sugars: CC-12 , COB-15
Sodium: CC-200 , COB-150
Carbs: CC-23 , COB-35
Fiber: CC-1 , COB-6
Protien: CC-5 , COB-4

Based on those numbers, we should have a war on Captain Crunch and prosecute anyone in possesion of it. [/sarcasm]

Capt Crunch

Why can't they follow some of the other companies and reduce the sugars rather than stop making Capt Crunch?

Cap'n Crunch

No one is telling anyone how to feed the people who live in your house. This legislation is geared towards advertisers and is meant to curb those outside your family who are trying to influence your family's eating habits. Families DO have the right to feed their children whatever they want, regardless of how unhealthy that food may be, and this legislation would do nothing to change that. Advertisers, on the other hand, shouldn't have the right to pander to children.

Captain Crunch

Honestly, my children were raised on Captain Crunch and my grandchildren love the cereal. I don't think anyone, especially someone with the government that hopefully in 4 years won't even have a job, has the right to tell me how to feed the people that live in my house. We eat a well balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, very little meat and yes, we even eat sugar. One one of us is diabetic and he doesn't eat a lot of sugar, never has. His diabetes is hereditary and yes, I know that will be passed down to my children and my grandchildren. We are aware of what we have to do, we watch out for the problems, but we all feel as though we are doing what is needed.
Parents should be making better decisions. You go to the grocery store and anyone on food stamps is buying nothing healthy and they can afford to - it's just easier not to.
The government does not have the right to tell me how to feed my family if they are not paying for it and we do not, nor do we ever intend to, depend on the government hand to feed us.
We have our garden which will feed us this year.
In other words, Leave My Captain Crunch alone.


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