Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Commercialism Corner

Commercialism Corner: Your one-stop shop for quick summaries and links to all the latest news about the commercialization of childhood.

Some Preschool Kids Get Double Dose of Screen Time – Another study published in October shows that many preschools show hours of television to young children. Study author Dr. Pooja Tandon says that while there are some positives to educational programming for preschoolers, "Studies have found that the more screen time a young child is exposed to, the more they're at risk for a range of problems including language delays, learning issues, obesity, even aggression, possibly sleep problems.”

Report: Fast-Food Chains Increase Targeting Our Kids - Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity releases the "most comprehensive study of fast-food nutrition and marketing ever conducted,” finding that marketers have increased their child-targeted advertising: preschoolers see 21% more fast food ads and older children 34% more than in 2003. The study also finds that of 3,039 possible kids’ meals, only 12 meet nutritional criteria for preschoolers (15 for older children). Teens 13-17 purchase 800-1,100 calories in an average fast food meal—about half of their recommended daily calories. And a single meal at most fast-food restaurants contains at least half of young people’s recommended daily allowance of sodium. 40% of children aged 2-11 ask their parents to go to McDonald's at least once a week and 15% of preschoolers ask to go every day. Another troubling finding: fast food restaurants target minority children up to 50% more than white children.

Fast Food Restaurants Not Fighting Child Obesity – CBS Evening News with Katie Couric on the Yale study that finds that fast food restaurants are contributing to childhood obesity (despite claims to the opposite). CCFC’s Allen Kanner says, "The industry has been promising for years that it would do something about this…Self regulation is a trick, it's a farce, it's a joke."

Unplug, Turn Off and Reconnect – Referencing our friends at TRUCE, a Newburyport, MA Reverend makes a plea to parents: “This holiday season, take a careful look at your children's wish lists and consider how your toy and game purchases can help our kids build peace in our communities and beyond.”

Disney Junior to Focus on Social Values - Disney's new channel will focus less on an educational curriculum and more on teaching social values and behavior.

The Turf War for Tots – In a battle to captures preschoolers, “one of the most important demographics in television,” Disney is rehashing Disney Junior. The article covers Disney’s marketing plan and includes some troubling stats and quotes, including: “The sale of toys, books and DVDs for Nick Jr.'s ‘Dora the Explorer’ has generated more than $11 billion in sales globally since 2002, Nickelodeon says. The value of future brand loyalty is incalculable,” and “For Disney, preschool is an entry point to the entire brand—from DVDs, theme parks and plush toys to Pixar movies and older-skewing Disney Channel series like ‘The Wizards of Waverly Place.’”

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