Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This was featured in SparkPeople's Health News Today:
"Food Makers Spent $1.6 Billion Targeting Children
The 44 largest food and beverage companies in the United States spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products to children and adolescents, says a Federal Trade Commission report to be released Tuesday.
About $492 million was spent on soda marketing, (primarily targeted at adolescents), about $237 million was spent on cereal marketing (primarily aimed at children under age 12), and restaurants spent close to $294 million on marketing that targeted children and adolescents about evenly, the Associated Press reported.
To prepare its study, the FTC used confidential financial data the companies were forced to hand over. The findings show that a large amount of money is being used to persuade children to eat foods that are often unhealthy, said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who pushed for the study.
"This study confirms what I have been saying for years. Industry needs to step up to the plate and use their innovation and creativity to market healthy foods to our kids," Harkin was quoted by the AP as saying. "That $1.6 billion could be used to attract our kids to healthy snacks, tasty cereals, fruits and vegetables."
My thoughts: This is what we are up against people! 1.6 BILLION dollars spent to influence our taste buds!
Now, this NEXT item is an example of what we CAN DO ABOUT IT!
"LA blocks new fast-food outlets from poor areas
LOS ANGELES - City officials are putting South Los Angeles on a diet.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in an impoverished swath of the city with a proliferation of such eateries and above average rates of obesity.
The yearlong moratorium is intended to give the city time to attract restaurants that serve healthier food. The action, which the mayor must still sign into law, is believed to be the first of its kind by a major city to protect public health.
"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said.
Representatives of fast-food chains said they support the goal of better diets but believe they are being unfairly targeted. They say they already offer healthier food items on their menus."
Kudos and hat's off to the LA City Council!
LET'S TELL OUR OFFICIALS AND PEOPLE IN POSITIONS OF INFLUENCE THAT WE WILL BACK THEM IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Randy Pausch has been in the news quite a bit recently due to his death. He has been known for many things, however his crowning achievement was a heartfelt, inspirational speech he made on 9/18/2007.
His university had assigned staff the challenge of taking turns giving to their students "The Last Lecture" in which they would pretend that if they were giving the last lecture of their life, what would they say.
The difference for Randy Pausch was that he had recently been informed by his doctors that his pancreatic cancer had spread to his liver and he had only months to live. So he TRULY faced this challenge knowing he might have no time left for further lectures!
Here is a link to an article about Randy:
And HERE is a link to a YouTube of his famous speech of 9/18/2007: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Inspiration is what SparkPeople is all about.
This man was PURE inspiration!
What a LEGACY we are fortunate enough for him to have left for us!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Re-Posting this as I don't want to see it lost in my older posts which (who knows?) may be removed:
This is an issue about which I feel SOOOO strongly! Hope folks don't mind, but I'm going to copy/paste a blog I wrote last year about this. A very strong source of motivation for me in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is (to borrow a wonderful phrase a friend once used) "Fighting Corporate Control of My Body!"
My blog: "One of my biggest motivators is fighting the "corporate ownership of my body" to borrow a friend's phrase. There are zillions of CEO's out there looking to turn over a dime at my expense. The mass-marketing of insanely unhealthy foods truly incenses me! Let's profit off of all these doofus consumers and THEN let's profit off of their MEDICAL TREATMENT! We've got a pill to take care of you! (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes management, etc) Ooops, side effects from that pill...? Here's another pill to take care of that! Ooops...surgery time? Step right this way...!
All the while profiting off of the uninformed public!
I have a burning desire not to give these corporations any more money than necessary and that starts and ends with what I put in my mouth. I rankle when at the supermarket I see shelves stretching off into the distance with a multitude of beverages in every color under the sun when ALL WE REALLY NEED IS WATER!
And the corporate world has already begun to capture major profits off of WATER! Get ready for air, people...clean air? Here you go, that'll be five dollars for five puffs!
How did we get started down this unhealthy path of eating such garbage?
Pay attention to your media...print, audio, video...! Garbage is EVERYWHERE! And touted as the coolest stuff around!
In Australia they had an epidemic of speed-related crashes and deaths. They decided to do something about it, so they assigned an advertising company the job of creating a campaign to persuade folks not to speed.
Very inventive folks, these advertising people!
They came up with an advertising campaign which took a page out of a Quentin Tarantino movie in which young sexy babes pull up in their car next to Kurt Russell's behemoth on four wheels. They crook their pinky finger at him and say: "Woooo...big engine, little winky!" and zoom off into the sunset.
So: billboards sprung up everywhere along the same line: Drive fast and prove how UN-sexy, UN-cool you are! Drive fast and show the world how insecure you are!
Same thing on the radio.
Same thing on TV.
It worked! Everybody slowed down!
So much for our "freedom of choice"...?
Don't you KNOW that the SAME type of success could be accomplished in persuading all of us about the benefits of healthy eating, healthy activity?
My RAGE centers around WHY ISN'T THIS HAPPENING!?!?
Sorry to grab the podium folks, but this is something that really makes me crazy AND something I use to motivate myself: I look at my healthy lifestyle as a means of FIGHTING CORPORATE CONTROL OF MY BODY!"
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