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Debate: Junk food advertising ban

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Should junk food advertising be banned, especially during children's television programs?


Background and Context of Debate:

Since 2006, there have been motions to ban junk food advertising, mainly provided by the World Health Organisation. There have been mixed responses, but mainly the health organisations have agreed with the idea.

The move appears part of a larger effort to enhance health in the United States and elsewhere. In October 2004, the US federal government enacted new laws requiring school districts to adopt healthier nutritional guidelines and to establish a local school wellness policy by the beginning of the 2006-07 school year. In addition, Washington state lawmakers last year approved a measure directing school districts to develop nutritional guidelines for the foods they sell in schools. The districts were given until Aug. 1, 2005 to adopt new nutritional policies, which also needed to address physical education programs.

Does junk food advertising cause obesity?


  • Children are swayed easily by advertisements. Most children if they are convinced by an advertisement will want to get the product, in this case, junk food. Eating junk food causes obesity and television advertising during children's programs will just convince innocent children that junk food is good. Stopping these advertisements will help obesity and lower children's intake of unhealthy foods.
  • Not only does the advertising cause obesity, but experts say watching TV also leads to obesity. It is proven that both watching TV and junk food advertising leads to obesity and if a child is watching television in the first place, watching junk food advertisements will not help the world's obestity problem.


Just because the junk food is being advertised does not mean that parents should buy it for their children or give their children the money to buy it. Parents must talk to their children about healthy eating habits. The truth is that "there is certainly a place for junk food in every diet." Elizabeth Berger, author of "Raising Kids with Character" says. Parents must talk to their children about the healthy amount. In the real world, children will be exposed to all sorts of advertisements and their parents will not always be able to protect them. Therfore, their parents must begin to teach them while they are still children.

Would businesses (TV stations and fast food restaurants) be effected negatively?


  • Many schools are trying to phase out "fast food" and "sodas" but many are worried that sales will sink considerably. Many schools have opened new snack bars that serve health foods, but some schools are still having trouble phasing out junk food.
  • Junk food is no longer fashionable and is being phased out. Soda pop, long a staple of the “in” crowd on high school campuses, is on the outs at many schools. Bottled water and fruit juices are the new – and sometimes only – beverages of choice. Candy bars have taken a back seat to granola bars, fruit yogurt parfaits have replaced ice cream cones, and fried potato chips have lost out to baked soy chips.

It’s part of a “healthy diet” transformation taking place across the state as schools from Pre-K to 12th grade are gradually shedding junk food from their campuses. The move toward better nutrition in schools also has been motivated by new state and federal guidelines.

While many school lunch menus have been revamped, some schools are still struggling with how to phase out unhealthy snacks and soda pop. Karen West,

This issue is causing some schools to continue to scale back on how much healthy food they serve.


  • "Junk food companies" would still be allowed to advertise, just not during children's programs.

Is it sensible to aim junk food advertising at children?


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  • Children have little or no money.


Related pages on Debatepedia:

Debate:Advertising, Targeting of Children

External links and resources:

TV Ads Entice Kids to Overeat

Print Ads that Target Youth

Limiting Ads of Junk Food to Children

Kids Get Diet of Junk Food Commercials

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