Recently, Disney announced its television networks and radio stations will be banning advertisements featuring junk food. The official move won’t take effect until 2015. However, it still concerns me because the ban could be a very bad idea.
What does Disney think this is going to achieve? It is not a health advocacy organization. It specializes in family entertainment. The only people the ban is going to please is the parents. For now, anyway.
The effects could be much worse in the long run. Not exposing kids to certain things that might be bad for them, it heightens their curiosity because it seems forbidden. Even if they don’t see junk food on TV, they are certainly going to see it elsewhere. Kids are going to find junk food more intriguing than if they saw commercials for it every day. Certain foods are simply more appealing. Not presenting those foods are only going to make them more coveted and attractive. It is also not going to prevent other parents from buying junk food. When the obesity levels don’t go down and kids are still eating junk food, who will the parents have to blame?