Thursday, August 16, 2007

I will not bite the hand that feeds me Butterfingers...

Or so wrote Bart during the chalkboard sequence of a Simpsons episode.
I thought of that soundbite today, after hearing that Nickelodeon plans to prohibit the use of its characters on junk food products. Starting in 2009, the network's characters - such as SpongeBob SquarePants and the Rugrats - will only be allowed to appear on packaged food products that meet "better for you" criteria established by Nickelodeon’s marketing clients. The children's programming giant joins Discovery Kids and Walt Disney in passing the initiative, which was designed to encourage exercise and healthy eating habits.
I think this is a great idea. Really, I do. But (and here's the possibly unpopular part of my opinion) I think it's often too easy for people to blame cartoons, movies, the local school district and fast food restaurants for the nation's growing childhood obesity epidemic. While there is some truth to this, I think parents also need to do a better job of monitoring what their child is eating.
All in all, I agree Jimmy Neutron's face should not be plastered on a bag of chips. At the same time, I hope this doesn't affect any TV show content. Imagine SpongeBob passing out granola bars instead of flipping Krabby Patty burgers. Or Cartman digging into a salad rather than snarfing down Cheesy Poofs. Can you really envision Homer eating tofu instead of pink donuts? It just doesn't seem right.
Anyhoo, those are my thoughts, for whatever it's worth.
In honor of this topic, I'm including one of the many Simpsons Butterfinger commercials that aired back in the day.


Eli said...

Wow, this blog is a breath of fresh air after scanning so many that are self obsessed, poorly written, or about nothing in particular.

I've done the no sugar thing and I think it's a good idea though nowadays I'm a low sugar, moderation in all things, kind of guy. I have to say that I think Splenda and many other alternative options are just gross to me.

Great blog! I'll be subscribing.

Katie said...

Thanks for the great - and positive - feedback. The wonderful thing about blogs is that you CAN post your opinion, however popular or unpopular it may be. And it's always refreshing to hear what people think. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

So, it's not ALWAYS the parents' fault. You can strip your house of junk food and serve lo cal, lo fat, no sugar meals and carrots for snacks, but the minute kids are old enough to roam, they can consume mega empty calories in a New York minute. Sometimes there is only one kid in the family that is struggling with weight. It's difficult to always nag your kids about food and exercise. Of course parents, pediatricians, schools, etc. can work towards policy to protect kids- including initiatives like the one you just mentioned. Better school lunches and more real calorie burning PE classes could help. Parks and affordable recreation programs where kids are safe are also important.
So many issues to explore.
So there's my rant. Like the bog! It's fun.

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.