Marketing directly to children is a factor in the childhood obesity epidemic. Companies spend about $17 billion annually marketing to children.
Our little ones seem to be just the perfect target, specially to candy and food companies, who couldn't care less about them or their health, but do about making more and more money.
As parents it is our responsibility to choose wisely what is best for our children. Either we notice it or not, every piece of food that we eat has an effect on our body, mind and emotional well-being.
As mothers, when walking along the corridors of the supermarket, we are choosing food that will basically be causing one of two effects: positive or negative (there is no neutral) in our family.
The good news is that the guideline to know what is best, is amazingly simple:
- Prefer food in it's natural state, and that consists of a single ingredient. This will be helping your children to grow strong and healthy ... and even happier.
- Stay away from food that comes in a package, uses preservatives, has coloring and at least 5 unpronounceable ingredients. This is undoubtedly deteriorating your children's health and causing damage at a cellular level.
As in every area of life you are free to CHOOSE.
You could think: "Oh well Bibiana, you are just overreacting! this is what everybody eats... if it was that harming it wouldn't be on the supermarket" or you can decide to take responsibility (knowing that never before in the history of mankind so many chemicals have been added to food) and consciously choose what is best for your family.
A study carried out in the United States affirms that because of the high rate of obesity - and if the parents of the current generations of children continue to choose and promote such processed and artificial foods - this will be the first generation in which parents will live longer than their children.
Again, I'm not saying you should become a vegetarian and buy only greens for your kids. No! I do buy cookies, cereals, and chips. I just try to buy the healthiest version. Instead of buying the pre-packed cookies, I get them freshly made in the bakery's market. Instead of buying the sugary cereals I buy the healthier versions or just plain oatmeal. I mean... it's not that difficult!
We live in a time when there is so much information about the damage that artificial dyes, and chemicals cause to children. They infect and produce inflammation to their bodies, causing sickness and physical deterioration. Resulting in: ear infections, bedwetting, headaches, hypersensitivity, obesity, asthma, diabetes, mood swings, sleep disorders, attention deficit, cell damage and cancerous tumors.
Studies back up the fact that some of the ingredients on commonly sold candy are even cancer-causing. Well.. wether this is true or we believe it or not, I might just recommend to stay away from this black list:
GUMMIE BEARS. The colors of these sweets are made from petroleum derivatives (yes, petroleum). They are so damaging that one of them (Red 3) has been banned from cosmetics for causing thyroid tumors. The gummy gelatin is made from 46% pork skin, 29% bovine leather and 23% shredded porcine bones. How can we be even naming this as candy?! (yuck!)
M&M. Sadly (I did like them! ...) these chocolates use dyes such as Blue 1 that has been linked to the appearance of tumors in children. Blue 2 that causes hyperactivity and has been linked to brain tumors. Red 40 known as one of the major causes of Attention Deficit Disorder. Yellow 5 and 6 which are also cancer related. Do I need to say more?
CHEETOS. Fritters full of saturated fats. This contain colors and flavorings derived from petroleum. Within the hundreds of choices of chips these are basically the worst you can choose.
SODAS. Even worse the "light" versions. Full of artificial sweeteners, this are the main contributors to the growing obesity index in children. Artificial coloring, empty calories, no nutritional content that damages and ages cells, causing hundreds of health problems.
I invite you to be more conscious. Next time you are about to buy any of these products, ask yourself: "why am I you choosing this?" If it's just because of habit, now is the perfect time to change it. Believe me if your children knew what they are really eating, they would not think its yummy.
Help them see the truth, help them grow healthy, choose natural foods.