Kids Commercials - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/4/06

Kids Commercials

It's time to take the cha-ching out of childhood, that's according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The nation's largest group of doctors say the 40,000 ads young people see every year on TV and elsewhere are influencing their choices in life and not in a good way.

So, the AAP is calling for a crackdown on content and timing. For example, it says kids are watching commercials for erectile dysfunction during the day.

"It's unbelievable that we have this much sex our kids are looking at listening to all the time and almost no messages about sexual health," said Dr. Jane Brown, a Media Analyst.

Another concern, food commercials. The Federal Trade Commission is concerned that billions of advertising dollars are feeding the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. But while organizations like the AAP push for policy change the experts note that ultimately; it's up to parents to take control of the media diet.

Dr. Brown says along with limiting the amount of time children spend in front of the TV and Internet parents should also act as media critics by watching what their children watch to help them understand the concept of advertising.

The academy says doctors should ask congress and federal agencies to: Ban junk-food ads during shows geared toward young children; limit commercial advertising to no more than six minutes per hour, which isn't even half of what there is now and restrict alcohol ads to showing the product only. In other words no cartoon characters or attractive young women.

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