Monday, January 26, 2009

While i was sick

I told you that i had the flu last week. I was in bed for about two days straight and had a chance to watch a lot of TV. I noticed something (especially since i was nauseous). There are a lot of food advertisements on television. There are a lot for fast food but also a lot for food in general. Being that we have a national obesity problem (with mississippi being one of the fatest states in the nation), do you think that food advertising should be regulated so that there are certain rules about how much food advertising can occur within a program? Or do you think this is an area that government should not be concerned with? If we regulate advertising on unhealthy activities such as drinking and smoking, should we regulate advertising on food? Two paragraphs please.

29 comments:

brob09 said...

I do not believe that the government or any other agency should regulate advertising of food. I agree that we do have the highest percentage of obesity in the nation. We do regulate advertising of alcohol and tobacco. These are things that cause death. Sure you could say that food does too but we have to eat food to live. We do not have to smoke or drink to live. I do think all advertising is over the top now. If you watch television much at all you can see that the peak times when you might be getting hungry you will see much more advertising of food.

When we watch football games they advertising all kinds of snack foods and beer. These ads are run during strategic times for the purpose of selling the product to you when you are most apt to buy it.

I believe that people should be able to use restraints when it comes to eating or indulging in anything that could lead to obesity or addiction. We depend too much on the government to tell us what we can and can not do. What happened to making smart choices and putting the responsibility where it lies and that is with the consumer.

tlr137 said...

Well, I do not have a problem with the advertising of food. I mean people should have enough self control to not over eat. I believe our government has bigger problems than to limit the amount of commericals that are played. These advertisers have to make a living to. People just need to learn control and quit blaming the gov on their own eating habbits. If a person wants to blame the commericals for his or her weight problem then that person is just lazy. If the kids are starting to blame the commercials then the parents need to put a limit on the intake. We are an un healthy state because we choose to be. Not because of the commericals.

tvan09 said...

I think that the government has their greedy little hands in everything that its citizens do and say already. The federal government has placed regulations on every form of mass communications that has been invented. Regulations of what can be said on radio, regulations on what can be seen on television are just a couple of examples of the federal government denying individual constitutional rights.The most blatant form of interference with constitutional rights can be seen in the passage of the Patriot Act.

Therefore,no the federal government should not be allowed to regulate food advertisements on television. At some point, individuals must be held accountable for their own actions, whether they be actions that are deemed healthy or unhealthy. Next thing you know, the government will be trying to regulate the amount of television you are allowed to watch. Where does it end? It ends when private citizens stand up for their constitutional rights and demand that the government be "a government of the people and by the people."

If you want to smoke, drink alcohol, or eat unhealthy fast food everyday, then it is you right as an American citizen.

madjdinfl said...

I have to agree with everyone that has posted so far. Government should NOT be aloud to regulate the amount of food commercials presented on TV or any other form of advertisement. I along with everyone else seem to believe that America needs to learn some self control and take responsibility for its own actions in eating excessively.

It is so easy to blame others; for example the famous McDonalds Coffee spill. That person was rewarded for their own stupidity. Coffee is HOT everyone knows that and if you spill it, it will burn its not like the drive through lady poured it on them. The same goes with food. Everyone knows that fast food is unhealthy for you and is full of millions of calories which in turn if eaten to much with out regular exercise will make you fat. That doesn't mean you get to sue them because you are fat from eating their food or ask the government to regulate the number of commercials because you have no self control.

If the government should regulate anything it is the frivolous lawsuits and sheer stupidity of some of our citizens that just want to blame, blame, blame.

Richard V. Shields III said...

The instinctive reaction to even consider more government intrusion into private lives is to cry 'foul' and insist that no more restrictions or regulations should be put in place regarding the advertising of food or anything else.
But maybe the question should be rephrased. What if the question became "should government encourage or even sponsor advertising that promotes healthier eating programs and lifestyles much the same way that children today have been effected by anti-tobacco advertising?"
Other comments already posted have condemned advertising restrictions as invasions of individual rights. I submit that obesity often impacts many people other than the individual. When the head of a family dies in his/her forties or fifties from disease brought about by obesity, individual rights to eat one's self to death become complex issues.
Am I advocating a proposed regulation on advertising? No. But there may be a role for government in addressing "the greatest good" for the populace. Programs that might address the health of current and future generations through education (which is really the goal of advertising in a way that's not always positive) can be done in a positive manner and should be considered.

D Douglas said...

I think the government should step in an regulate the food advertisements on television. While alcohol and tobacco are known contributors to poor health, food has also joined the ranks in contributing to poor health. Obesity is a huge problem in our society, and there are a laundry list of diseases associated with obesity. The obesity problem is not just relagated to adults, but many children are considered obese. With healtcare cost continuing to increase, and many citizens living with little or no health insurance, the government should step in and regulate the ads, in an effort to do what is right for the people.

Food advertisements on television are crafty and clever, usually appearing frequently during popularly watched programs. Tempting us with every commercial to go out and grab a burger and fries, or some delicious treats. These companies are in business to make money, even if it hurts its customers. The government should help its citizens, even when they are not always so concerned about helping themselves in certain circumstances.

amandakthrash said...

In reference to the control of alcohol and cigarette advertisments, both are age-controlled substances. I do not know why televised liquor ads are illegal, while beer ads are frequently shown. Fast food is available for anyone to buy.

I really do not have a problem with food advertisements, nor would I have a problem with tobacco and alcohol ads. Just because I see a Big Mac on television, I do not suddenly want to rush out and eat a Big Mac. I do not get thirsty when I see horses playing football during a Bud Light ad. I know the purpose of advertising is to entice someone to buy a certain product, but we do have the free will to choose what we want or don't want.

I think that our society is overly censored in regards to television ads as it is. Prohibiting ads for McDonald's, Pizza Hut, or Taco Bell will not prevent me from getting hungry, nor will seeing the ad make me go out an eat more than I would normally.

Stanley said...

This week's blog reminds me of the movie "Supersize Me." If you all recall, the movie shows one happens to people when they eat fast food. The main character ate McDonalds 3 times a day over a certain period and monitored his health and overall state of being. It was an interesting movie because we got to see the negative effects fast food has on your body. Also, it allowed us to see how fast food movies utilize the media and advertising tactics to entice to eater to want more. "Supersize me," is referring to the option of supersizing your french fries and soda.
While the movie showed us how the media can draw hungry eaters to rather unhealhy food options, it wouldn't be right to regulate food advertisements. Food is life, and without it, we wouldn't survive. Food brings people together, and frankly makes us happy. Who doesn't like the taste of freshly fried shoestring potatotes with a generous sprinkling of salt? Yum-O! We as Americans do live in a very obsese nation. It's a fact that we have too many overweight people, many of whom are young children. This is not because of food advertisements. Food has a special place in my heart. It nourishes the soul and gives you energy to do great things. We should advertise it tastefully and encourage people to it. Instead of regulating food advertisements, we should promote exercise and physical fitness. We should educate children on healthy lifestyles and teach them the importance of good nutrition. And even more importantly, we should target the poor and lower income families who often rely on cheap food options. These foods are often the unhealthy fast foods and high fat options.
Being a responsible eater is also a concept worth discussing. By taking a look at nutrition facts, which are required on everything these days, people should recognize what foods they can consume regularly, and which options less frequently. McDonald French Fries are delicious! As tasty as they are, we shouldn't indulge all the time. It's ultimately our decision. "You are what you eat!" That really does make a lot of sense.

-Stan Lau

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

Absolutely not. The government should not regulate the advertising of food. It is one thing for the G to insert itself into the advertising of things like cigarettes, hard liquor and firearms. But it would be quite another for it to pass legislation regarding the advertisement of food.

I echo some of what others have said here. People should not rely on the government to help them make good, healthy choices. In fact.. I'm of the opinion we've already taken it too far.

I always scratch my head over the seatbelt law. Who do I endanger if I choose to live life on the edge and not buckle up when I drive to the post office? Is there the possibility I could fly through the windshield and hit an innocent bystander? I doubt it. ....So I click-it everywhere I go. And steadily drive by tons of folks killing themselves by smoking cigarettes.

But I digress.... It suffices to say that I think more government regulation in just about anything is a really bad idea.

Rebecca Price said...

I do not believe the government should regulate advertisement for food. The government regulates enough as it is. Advertisement is simply a way of getting someone's attention in hopes of them going after the product. To me, I can see why the government regulates alcohol and tobacco advertisements because these 2 products can cause a lot of problems. You have to watch out for drinking and driving with alcohol, and with tobacco, this can cause many problems that can kill a person. But all at the same time, it all boils down to the same thing for me. Is it really the governments job to say we should only see so much of certain things considering people are going to do what they want to anyways. For example, whether an alcohol commercial plays 1 time or 10 times, if it looks good the 1st time and you want it, you go get it. You don't have to see it the other 9 times to make up your mind.

People should be able to control what they are doing. I control what I eat. Yes there are times that I see a Taco Bell commercial and it looks or sounds really good, but that does not mean that I have to go to Taco Bell and eat there. In reality, you make the decisions of what you do. Yes, as with alcohol and tobacco, obesity can kill people, but that is something the person with that problem should be concerned with. The government can regulate commercials all day and night long but they can not come to your house and make your decisions for you. So no, I do not believe the government should regulate food commercials because people make their own decisions and if they are going to do it, then they are going to do it!

Dominique said...

I do not think the government should regulate food advertising. It is up to us to have the common sense to know what to and what not to place in our bodies. Even if there were less television advertisements, we are constantly bombarded with fast food restaurants as we drive down the street. There are restaurants around every corner and if you let down your window, then the enticing smells could easily bring you in. We should have the strength to resist temptation.

Also, the number of kids getting high, being hospitalized, or dying from household products is increasing. This is much more troubling to me that people gaining weight. If the government regulate food advertisements, then they would have to regulate the household products commercials.

"That's the power of Pinesol, baby."

Stacey Perkins said...

I believe what you are proposing is what can be considered a slippery slope. If the government were to start regulating food advertising, what would be next? Would their be a higher tax on chocolate? They might prohibit the advertising of high heels because some women might sometimes fall and injure themselves while wearing high heels. I think the government has much bigger problems than what food advertisements are on television.

So I do not think that limitations should be put on the quantity of food advertisements. I think that would be considered too much government involvement. Maybe next, they could prohibit obese people from entering certain restaurants or ordering certain menu items. It’s preposterous. If food ads bother certain people, they can choose to not watch television or invest in a DVR.

Stacey Perkins

Caroline said...

I think Mr. Shields made a good point being that maybe we should look at this from a different angle so to speak. I think we should absolutely focus on more positive ways to improve overall health in our societies. I feel like what you see, hear, and read about sticks in your head and we could refocus our train of thought by viewing more positive eating habits and exercise habits. I think about my dad who needs to stop smoking in the worst possible way, but I can only imagine how tempting it would be for him to go smoke a cigarette after seeing someone light up on television. I think this has the same effect on people as junk food commercials and other products. I think the television plays a big part in influencing people’s ways and habits.
The government simply cannot regulate everything and I don’t think we should expect them to do so. As much as I believe that these commercials are a negative influence on people, I just don’t think it is up to the government to regulate issues like this. One thought I had was that I would rather them focus on getting our health insurance prices down and have more coverage, but if people were healthier in general, they might could do this as well. It seems as everything is tied together, but I think you have to control some things for yourself. I mean there are drugs in front of us daily, as well as cigarettes, alcohol and other horrible substances and we have to make the choice to be a deadbeat abuser or get off of our rumps and take control of our own lives and stop relying on the government to bail us out of every little incident.

Kenny Hardin said...

I do not believe the government should regulate advertising in the food industry. Unlike smoking and drinking food is essential for life. We do not necessarily need the food advertised on TV to survive but it offers us a wide range of options to choose from. The choice should be made in moderation.

As adults we should be able to make a rational decision about what foods are good for or bad for our diets. If the government started controlling the advertising they would have to control every aspect of our lives, as far as diets go. The food network would have to be regulated as to not show certain foods to the general public. I believe that we can make the decision of what foods we can eat and not eat, and only we can stop the obesity problem in the U.S.

Casey said...

I think if the government were to start regulating food advertising it would be too "big brotherly." Too much government regulation on our personal choices makes people unable to make responsible decisions on their own. I agree that it is a good thing for government to control advertising for things like beer and tobacco because it protects the safety of young people and it could potentially kill them.

I think it is every person's own responsibility to know advertisements can be misleading and persuasive but it is up to us to make healthy decisions according to our own judgements. It is also up to the parents to talk to their kids about this issue and let them know unhealthy food can be just as dangerous as illegal things like alcohol and tobacco if they aren't careful.

Ellen said...

First of all I do not think that the government should be allowed to regulate much of anything when it comes to the media. The government already has too much to do with what we are allowed to hear, see, and read. After saying that, I also believe that is it the governments responsibility to provide United States citizens with free, unbiased and truthful information on how to better themselves. Yes, there is an excessive amount of advertising spent on the food industry. This is how companies sell food though. There is no better way to get the message out to hungry people lazily sitting on their sofas then through TV commercials. It would be completely unfair to tell companies that they could not advertise their products because people cannot control what they put into their own mouths.
Though I think the government has no right to intervene in the media, I also think that the government should get “involved” when it comes to these advertisements and the obesity problem in general. Not by setting regulations, but by promoting healthy food choices. The government should put out advertisements giving tips on eating and exercising and should generally promote good health. Also, instead of telling companies what they can and cannot put on their advertisements, the government should be more focused on things like lowering the food tax so people can actually afford to eat healthy foods and informing people of easy and affordable ways to improve their diets. Our government needs to focus on providing healthy food choices and finding a way to make them affordable, not more regulations on the media.

Juliet said...

I do not think the government should regulate food advertising. Freedom of choice; to select what you would like to consume or do and freedom of speech; talking about, promoting or selling a product excluding deceptive advertising is the American way. I know this is a stretch but censorship comes to my mind when I hear the word regulation sometimes. Can someone tell me the difference in oversight and regulation?

Obesity can be addressed in the same way food is advertised. A marketing plan to have a slimmer America should be adopted by those in opposition to fast food advertising. Put your money where your mouth is the action that should be taken to address the obesity issue. Obesity is an epidemic in this country and the fallout of the increasing size of our citizens is going to effect our population in ways we can’t conceptualize.

I am afraid some of my family members may have to pay for two seats when flying because of their weight. I do not blame media advertising for this situation; I blame the lack of food education.

David Layne said...

I am going to straddle the fence and take both sides of this issue. First, I would say that the government should not intervene on the iisue of food advertising. The United States is supposed to be a fee society that thrives on capitalism. Part of capitalism is the freedom to advertise your company and products in the manner that you see fit. These freedoms are protected under the United States constitution.

On the other hand, obesity is a national epidemic. And part of the governments responsibility is to protect us. In this case, they are protecting us from ourselves. In addition, the health costs related to obesity are very expensive. And the government, by taxes paid by the taxpayers has to pay for a big part of the health costs related to this epedemic. In this case, maybe the government should step in.

David Layne said...

I am going to straddle the fence and take both sides of this issue. First, I would say that the government should not intervene on the iisue of food advertising. The United States is supposed to be a fee society that thrives on capitalism. Part of capitalism is the freedom to advertise your company and products in the manner that you see fit. These freedoms are protected under the United States constitution.

On the other hand, obesity is a national epidemic. And part of the governments responsibility is to protect us. In this case, they are protecting us from ourselves. In addition, the health costs related to obesity are very expensive. And the government, by taxes paid by the taxpayers has to pay for a big part of the health costs related to this epedemic. In this case, maybe the government should step in.

JJ said...

I beleive that the fast food industry and soda industries are just as bad as alcohol and tobacco products. Just as these products were at first thought to bring healthy effects from use we will soon realize that the chemicals that we are putting into our bodies are just as bad as the afore mentioned products. Based on this assumption I would recommend that the government should regulate the advertising of food products. The FDA currently regulates the production of food therefore giving the impression that the food is of a quality nature. The regulating of advertising should be held to the accuracy of the products depicted. For instance Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Ceral states that it is a good source of calcium. Although it neglects to state that it is lined with sugars and starches that will aid in the obesity problem in children.

Most of the cereal advertising and fast food advertising is timed with childrens programing. It is geared toward a younger audience. For example Ronald Mcdonald, Toocan Sam, Captain Crunch, and Snapp Krackle Pop (rice Krispies). Do you think that these are a coincidence that each one of these high in fat and sugar products are sold to children which in turn sells it to the parents? I think not. I am for the regulation of advertising as I believe that in today's world there is no truth in advertising.

JJ said...

JVJ1

I beleive that the fast food industry and soda industries are just as bad as alcohol and tobacco products. Just as these products were at first thought to bring healthy effects from use we will soon realize that the chemicals that we are putting into our bodies are just as bad as the afore mentioned products. Based on this assumption I would recommend that the government should regulate the advertising of food products. The FDA currently regulates the production of food therefore giving the impression that the food is of a quality nature. The regulating of advertising should be held to the accuracy of the products depicted. For instance Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Ceral states that it is a good source of calcium. Although it neglects to state that it is lined with sugars and starches that will aid in the obesity problem in children.

Most of the cereal advertising and fast food advertising is timed with childrens programing. It is geared toward a younger audience. For example Ronald Mcdonald, Toocan Sam, Captain Crunch, and Snapp Krackle Pop (rice Krispies). Do you think that these are a coincidence that each one of these high in fat and sugar products are sold to children which in turn sells it to the parents? I think not. I am for the regulation of advertising as I believe that in today's world there is no truth in advertising.

Nicole Thigpen said...

I do not feel it is the governments job to control our eating habits. Doesn't the government have enough to do without regulating the food ads we see on a daily basis? When I am feeling hungry the ads may make me think, oohh...that looks good but that does not mean I am getting up and going to get it. When I am not hungry at all I don't think much about the ad. To be completely honest I have a habit of watching the food network when I am hungry! It is almost as if it satisfy's my hunger for the moment. It doesn't make me go in the kitchen and whip up a large meal, although for some it may.

I just don't see the point in the government regulating these ads. If someone wants to go get a double whooper with extra mayo then that is what they will do, ad or no ad. If the government is going to regulate the food ads then they need to regulate how many fast food chains there are within a certain distance, maybe we wouldn't go get that burger and fries if they weren't on every corner making it so convenient.

rcp20 said...

I believe government regulation is already out of control. One thing that sets us apart from other countries is our ability to govern our own personal lives. Too much government regulation can only restrict us as a free society.

While I do not argue that MS has an obvious obesity problem, it is still not the government's job to instruct people how to eat. If people are not competent enough to manage their food consumption, then they can deal with the consequences of their decisions. But the government has no place entrenching itself that deeply in the personal lives of its citizens. If we do not draw a line on issues such as this, then where?

NicoleElizabeth said...

I believe that the government should monitor food advertising especially because of the national obesity problem. Since food is advertised so much on TV and radio,I think it makes people crave the food being adverstised. If the advertisement would not have been seen on TV or heard on the radio, chances are that the person would not have given that food any thought at all.
However, it isn't just TV and radio that advertise food and fast food restuarants. I see so many billboards, even just in Starkville, that advertise food and fast food resturants. Sometime you even see product placement in movies. Our culture is so centered around convenience and that is why fast food has become so popular. It is also the reason why this nation and Mississippi specifically have an obesity issue. So yes, I do believe the government should monitor food advertisement just like it does with smoking and drinking.

larrythomas16 said...

I think it should up to the people. I'm sure you've heard the saying "you reap what you sew". Well I think this applies. we are all adults some of the time. If people choose to poison there body knowing that it will kill them or cause total damage to there bodies so be it. I used to drink back in the day and also used chewing tobacco. Knowing that these can cause cancer or liver damage didn't bother me at the time. I chose to quit using these items to a stay healthy but also prolong my life.
If I said that congress should or should not intervene with these situations in our society really doesn't matter. I'll tell you why. These corporations make billions of dollars that fund political parties. If they were to ban commercials for these huge corporations would be crazy to them. They would lose not just money but support politically.

Leb23 said...

I do not believe that the government should regulate what food commercials should be shown on television. First, even with obesity being high in the United States, regulating commercials would not solve anything. People would still go to the grocery store and get the food they want. Even if they did not see the food on television, they could still see it when they went to the grocery store. Therefore, they could still buy the fast food. Also, some people's metabolism is faster then others. A person should realize what kind of metabolism he or she has and know what type of foods to buy.

Second, people know which foods they should and shouldn't buy. A person knows that he or she should not buy ice cream if they are overweight. A person should have discipline and know the different kinds of food he or she should eat. Also, there are other things that are bad for us. If we take food commercials off then we need to take tobacco commercials off too.

rf213 said...

I don't think government should regulate advertising on food. I believe that it wouldn't have a big effect, maybe even none. People have their eating habits and they will not change them because they will see less advertisements on unhealthy food. On the other hand, people who want to change their eating habits will not do it because of their personal reasons.
I think it is different in the case of smoking and drinking since people form those habits in the age when they are able to decide on whether they want to risk their health or not. However, eating habits are formed usually in an early childhood and then it is up to people whether they decide to eat healthier or not.

mic g said...

I believe the goverment has much bigger issues to worry about than this. Fast foods have just as much right to advertise as anyone else. As much as it cost for a 30 second commericial these days there is no way the goverment will get involved with this. People should have enough will power to know when enough is enough to eat. Of course this is oming from someone who has never tipped the scales at over 195 before.But as I have gotten older I cant just eat whatever i want and not expect to put on a few pounds or two.

The one thing the goverment may, if they dont already, is play a role in the advertising of beer or tobacco products during shoews that kide may watch or hours that are good viewing for familys. Of course the parents have to play a huge role in this.