Peyton Manning might be off to a great season on the field, but a study of junk food endorsements by top athletes sacked Manning, among others, for pushing fast food and sugary drinks to the kids who idolize them. Manning, according to the study, receives millions to promote fast food and a sugar-laden beverage that’s marketed as a sports drink, but critics say is better viewed as a contributor to obesity.
Reading Scientific American this week, I became transfixed with a little graphic the editors included at the back of the magazine.
It showed how the number of Americans who are seriously overweight has doubled over the past 30 years. Thirty four percent of Americans are now considered obese (meaning they have a body mass index over 30), compared with 15 percent who met that criteria in 1980.
The number of Americans who are overweight (with a BMI of 25 to 30) has remained almost steady; but that still means that the overweight and the obese together now comprise a hefty 68 percent of the population.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, facing criticism that its products are not “All Natural” as it claims on labels, has announced it will drop the use of the term on ice creams and frozen yogurts that contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and other processed ingredients.
If you’ve ever taken a pre-schooler out to eat, you’ll know that toys are a powerful lure. We adults consider appetizers, drinks, entrees, pricing, calories and ambiance, evaluating a matrix that leads us to lunch.
But five-year-olds are at the mercy of their bellies, and the pull of shiny baubles. A five-year-old wants food and treats.