You must have noticed the influence of food advertisement playing in TV on your kids. Interestingly the food advertisement budgets for children have grown staggeringly. In the year 1983, the food and beverage industries in USA spent $1 million targeting kids. In 2006, more than $10 billion was spent on the marketing of food and beverage for kids in America alone. Today, most of the food advertisements focus on kids. Why? These companies know exactly what your kids want to eat and drink. They are skilled in persuading the kids to eat their food. Food companies are going to gain a lot if they can influence the eating habit of the kids or control the decision regarding what do they want to eat. According to the estimates, 83% of the commercials played during the most popular shows for elementary kids were for fast food, snack, sweets or drinks.
A study carried out at Stanford University measured the effect of real-world marketing and brand exposure on young kids 3-5 years of age. The kids were presented with five pairs identical foods, one item of each pair in simple McDonald’s packaging and the identical items in the similar packaging without McDonald’s logo. The kids were asked to taste the food and were asked which one tasted better or if the food items tasted same. Despite absolutely no difference in the food items, children preferred the food coming with the McDonald’s logo. This was true for the fast food, milk and even for the baby carrots, which are not sold by McDonald’s!! (continue reading…)
The Environmental Working Group has released the first-ever study of chemicals in the cord blood of minority newborns. The ten babies in the study were born in 2007 and 2008 in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin. While the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Working Group have both looked at newborn exposure before, the new EWG study, in partnership with Rachel’s Network, was the first to specifically look at African-America, Hispanic and Asian babies, who may be more likely to be exposed to industrial and agricultural chemicals due to social and economic situations. For example, in many areas of the country, agricultural laborers are predominantly Hispanic, exposing Hispanic women to more pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers before and during pregnancy.
The EWG study of cord blood contaminants in minority newborns is the first reported detection of nearly two dozen chemicals in newborns of any background, including the first neonatal detection of Bisphenol-A, which was found in 9 of the 10 babies. Because of the expense of testing, only 10 babies were included in the study. Up to 232 chemicals total were found in the ten infants - certain tests looked for two or more chemicals at once, and a positive reading could mean one or more of the contaminants were present in the sample. Several chemicals were found in all ten babies: (continue reading…)
A large-scale survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show nearly half of children and adolescents are above a healthy weight, either overweight or obese (30% or more above a healthy weight). The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and teens has tripled in the past 20 years.
A separate study recently published the medical journal Clinical Pediatrics showed that overweight and obese children began to develop weight problems while they were still babies. The study looked at records of children whose recorded weight during at least one pediatrician visit put them as clinically overweight or obese. The researchers looked back over the weight history of these children and discovered that, when the children who were overweight at the first pediatrician visit were included, half of the children had developed overweight by the time they were 15 months old. (continue reading…)
The other day my husband Danny changed our son Diego’s diaper. He walked into the room, carrying the folded diaper carcass in his hand. “Oh good!” I said. “He pooped.”
“Yep,” Danny acknowledged, patting the smelly white bundle.
“What did it look like?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It was poop.”
“Come on,” I encouraged. “Give me the details.” (continue reading…)
It’s 3:45 a.m. as I walk up the pathway to the home of my friend Patricia. It’s very dark on her street, but the moon is big and full. It casts a gentle glow on the trees, houses, and cars around me. Everything is calm and quiet, which feels impossible since something so incredible just happened. As I approach the door, I can see that although the blinds are closed, the house is ablaze inside.
I give a gentle knock on the door. From inside I hear Patricia’s husband’s voice. “Come in,” he says.
I don’t know what I’m expecting to see. Blood, mayhem, chaos? But there is nothing. The house is impeccable as always and Sam is in the den zipping his 21 month-old son Ashton into a fuzzy farm animal onesie.
My friend, Patricia, is nowhere to be found. “Oh!” says Sam. “The paramedics already left with her and the baby, just minutes ago.” (continue reading…)
My father finally crawled out from under his rock and purchased a cell phone. For years, he resisted. He was adamant and philosophically against them. “Cell phones are ridiculous! They’re absurd!” he proclaimed, the blood rising to his face. “Why do I need to carry a phone everywhere I go? There is no need for such urgent communication. If someone needs to tell me something, my home phone is good enough.”
He had a point, I thought. Except for emergencies. But my father said that he had never had an emergency he couldn’t handle in his past 60 years without a cell phone, so why should he start now? (continue reading…)
Remember when Motrin made the fatal mistake of posting that patronizing online commercial which suggested that baby wearing was nothing more than a ridiculous, crazy fad that caused horrific back pain to new moms? In the advertisement, which aired on Motrin’s website in November 2008, a young mom who supposedly had tried babywearing said the following:
Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion. I mean, in theory it’s a great idea. There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch. And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free. Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience. They say that babies carried close to the body tend to cry less than others. But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t. I sure do! These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back? I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid. Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom. And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.
I guess Motrin thought that moms would watch this ad, have a moment of revelation about how dreadful babywearing really was, and come out in droves to buy Motrin to heal their wounded backs and tattered souls. Unfortunately for Motrin, it had the opposite effect. (continue reading…)