I’m doing it. I’m writing a spontaneous blog post filled with rage and it’s something that I stopped doing a long time ago due to the whole speaking before you think it through.
Alas, here I am jumping on the bandwagon once again and putting my opinion out there in the internet world for everyone to read, criticise and argue about. Maybe it’s because I get so passionate about things when it comes to my children and ensuring they lead the best life they can, who knows?
I’ve seen a lot on social media in the past week or so about the “Food Revolution” an ad campaign by Jamie Oliver to ban ads for junk foods aimed at kids in the UK.
The campaign has come about due to a rise in childhood obesity and the fact that we need to cut down on the bad stuff we are pumping our children with, in an aid to help them live healthier lives, the first step and main part of the campaign is to ban adverts for junk food aimed at children.
Personally, I think this is a great idea. Being a mother of two children aged 7 and 10 I’m more then aware of what I should be teaching my children, especially having had my husband have two heart attacks due to a stressful, unhealthy kind of lifestyle.
This means that I make every effort to make sure that my children get a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of exercise to keep them moving.
If you search the #adenough hashtags on Twitter there is a lot of support for this campaign, there is also a lot of opposing opinions, I’ve also included some thoughts from parent bloggers to get an idea of how the land lies there.
I feel that the campaign is a great idea, but it’s a small stepping stone in a wider problem when it comes to tackling childhood obesity. Something needs to be done in terms of educating parents of the obese children.
I also saw an argument on Twitter, several times in fact that it’s harder for low income families to purchase healthier options. Well I’m sorry but I call bullshit on that.
In the past, as a family of four, we have struggled. Circumstances change.
This meant that our usual income dropped more than half and we had to make some serious cutbacks. We did however, not struggle with food shopping and making healthier choices.
To give you an idea, we regularly had to budget our weekly food shop to around £25. What we did manage is a healthy choice-based selection of vegetables, fruit and proper foods like whole-wheat rice, pasta and bread avoiding too many sweets, no microwave meals and very little processed food.
You’d be surprised at what you can buy in regular supermarkets now.
Surprisingly it’s cheaper to buy a 1KG bag of carrots then it is to buy ONE can of coke. I’m really confused as to where this “low income” argument comes in when it comes down to buying healthier foods and making better choices.
In fact, I’m so confused that I’ve included a weekly food shop list and meal ideas that are cheaper then a lot of junk foods just to make sure I can back my thoughts up a little.
The other argument I’ve seen popping up is in regard to what Jamie, and other public figures are doing in terms of cooking shows, recipes and posting about cakes and treats.
I feel that these opinions are completely missing the point of what the original campaign is about. We are tackling a childhood obesity issue in the UK. Not a ban on all foods with sugar in campaign. If that was the case then I think cigarettes, alcohol and other things need to be removed from the Earth first don’t you?
The sugar tax is an incentive to swap usual high sugar treats for healthier options.
It’s not saying DON’T EAT SUGAR. It’s saying cut down, make better choices etc, it’s the kids that come first in the debate, not the opinions of people who either don’t have children, or don’t think that their children are entitled to living a healthier life and making lazy food choices due to lack of education.
I don’t think that Jamie’s and other public figures main audience are small children that are easily impacted by adverts, peers and what their parents do. So personally, I don’t feel like someone posting a picture or recipe of a doughnut is going to have that much of an effect on the campaign and what it stands for.
I asked some parent bloggers their thoughts and here are their responses to the food revolution campaign;
Pete Chatfield of Household Money Saving says:
I’m not a fan. If my kids pass a McDonald’s, they want to go in. Seeing an ad on TV makes no difference to them. It’s not like they would jump in a car and drive there to pick up a burger.
Fast food is fine as long as it’s taken in moderation.
I sometimes wonder if Jamie Oliver says things just for his own self publicity.
Gemma Hall of Mummy’s Waisted thinks:
At the moment my kids don’t take any notice of food adverts, and I think with the range of food options these days there’s less of a novelty about fast food restaurants than there used to be
Kaiden Laverty of A Suffolk Dad suggests:
Honestly, my little one doesn’t notice junk food adverts or healthy ones for that matter! It makes no difference. If your little ones are eating too much junk food, only the parent is to blame!
Nina Spencer of Spencers ARC states:
I’ve always liked Jamie Oliver and I think he makes some good points in all of his campaigns. His latest #adenough campaign is no exception. Adverts for cigarettes, alcohol are banned from certain places. So why not ban ads of junk food. It’s just as damaging.
Sinead Latham of Sinead Lathem thinks:
It does amaze me that adverts like this are still allowed when we are constantly told children are facing an obesity epidemic. Jamie Oliver has made a lot of people think about what they eat for the better (and of course it’s good publicity for himself).
Christy Buckner of Welsh Mum says:
The junk food marketing affects me and I’m an adult who understands it’s bad. Imagine how it affects children! I definitely think that junk food should be recognized as something potentially harmful which requires responsible decision making – which means it should come with factual information and definitely not marketed to children.
I would LOVE to know what your thoughts are towards the food revolution campaign, you can check it out here at the Jamie’s Food Revolution site for more information.
Do you feel like something needs to be done regarding the obesity rates in the UK? What should we do, if anything?
– Emma Allen –
I’d love you to leave me a comment with your thoughts, opinions or questions.
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