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Junk food warnings-"not for young children"

(226 Posts)
trisher Mon 04-May-15 09:57:12

I recently watched a woman open a packet of salt and vinegar Monster Munch and hand it to a child in a buggy who must have been 18 months to 2 years old, who was obviously used to this and started eating. Apart from the damage to her developing taste buds the amount of salt and fat she consumed must have been health threatening. When I buy toys some have a warniing "Not suitable for children under the age of 3". Why can't the same warning be put on junk foods and fizzy drinks? Children might then eat better as they grow up.

Brummiegran Mon 04-May-15 10:11:05

I agree, I cringe when I see that! It must lead to health and behaviour problems with all those additives too.

posie Mon 04-May-15 13:47:25

What a good idea! Unfortunately I don't think the manufacturers would do this voluntarily though. Too interested in their profits to care.

Ana Mon 04-May-15 13:57:22

And would parents take any notice anyway? The ones who feed their young children such unhealthy snacks probably wouldn't...

trisher Mon 04-May-15 14:13:45

I'm not sure about that Ana, but I think there may be some young mums who think it is OK to feed these snacks to their children because they can manage to eat them and seem to like them. Putting an age warning on might stop some of them.

granjura Mon 04-May-15 14:20:54

Ana, they would probably say it is none of the Gvt's business, and an attack on their human rights (what about the rights of children to grow healthy on healthy foods???).

Mishap Mon 04-May-15 14:31:10

f they are not good for children, then they are not good for us either! Perhaps a general warning!!

Ana Mon 04-May-15 14:33:38

They'd have to put a warning on an awful lot of stuff! grin

Sweets, biscuits, cakes, crisps, fizzy drinks - the list would be endless.

soontobe Mon 04-May-15 14:39:26

I would say that that is actually a good idea trisher.

granjura Mon 04-May-15 15:42:36

So do I- perhaps via the red, orange, green system. There are, for instance, biscuits and ... biscuits. Some contain a lot less fat and sugar- same for yogurts- some so called 'light' yogurts contain a whole dessertspoon full of sugar (25gr or 1 oz). If the colout coding was made compulsory for all prepared foods- the manufacturers would have a real incentive on making the products more healthy, with less sugar and 'bad' fats, etc- so that their products have an orange or green label, instead of the one they deserve now, red.

Soutra Mon 04-May-15 16:58:53

I have seen worse! A baby in a pram, who the mum told me was 6 months old was given Skips and orange squash as we went down in the Library lift. Not my business but I was horrified .

granjura Mon 04-May-15 17:03:27

I know some will jump on me now- but when you say 'not my business' - at what stage does it become 'our' business as a society, to protect the weak and the vulnerable. Would it be 'not my business' if she gave him a fag, or smacked him around the head. Where is that fine line???

loopylou Mon 04-May-15 17:10:18

I've seen babies with cola in their bottle-it would take someone with more guts than me to say something, so how do you challenge these behaviours?

thatbags Mon 04-May-15 17:14:16

Hmm. I'm not comfortable with the warnings idea. This is not because I like such snacks but because I believe in freedom of choice. Cigarettes and alcohol are clearly linked to causes of death because they contain powerful drugs. I do not think Monster Munches come into the same danger category by a long chalk.

granjura Mon 04-May-15 17:15:01

Being Devil's advocate ... but here this never happens as dentists are so expensive and not covered by health insurance. (not saying this is the solution- but ...).

granjura Mon 04-May-15 17:18:40

Again- and I do NOT know the answer- where is that fine line (again) between different kind of abuses and personal freedom and choice. So many kids are obese and having heart problems and diabetes- which are true and real killers. Food in modern society can so easily become just another addiction- and most obese kids live with obese parents.

What about all the kids who arrive at school without any breakfast- of a Mars bar and a can of coke. Where is the major idfference between abuse by food- and other abuses?

granjura Mon 04-May-15 17:20:30

What would be wrong with all prepared products to have, by law- either a red, orange or green sticker on it? And as such, giving the chance to use one's personal choice (and remember children often have NO choice at all- but eat what they are given- where is their choice?)- and also put pressure on manufacturers to cut down sugars and fats, additives, etc?

soontobe Mon 04-May-15 17:22:03

Personally, and I dont know if I am right, I dont think that it is any of my business what a mum feeds to her child.
Unless it was my grandchild, and even then, I would only advise.

ffinnochio Mon 04-May-15 17:27:00

grandura You say Where is the major idfference between abuse by food- and other abuses? I would contend that children suffer far worse abuses than the food they are given, which I do not intend to go into here.

I believe education is the key.

Nelliemoser Mon 04-May-15 17:29:16

Granjura I think that is a point worthy of discussion.

It's not about personal choice if young children are being given inadquate diets.
Of course once in a while an odd treat is not harmful but in many cases you get the impression that such food might be a large part of their diet.

It is the responsibility of parents to ensure the children are properly nourished.
Then there is the issue of childhood obesity which in under 10s is likely to be down to what they are fed at home.

If a child weighed a lot less than he should for his age and build he could be regarded as undernourished and it could be seen as neglect and child protection measures could be undertaken.

We do not seem to operate the same values regarding children who are clinically obese, despite the fact that obesity in children has very serious long term health consequences.

Most governments seem to shrink from making these very controversial decisions. In the end it is essential to try to get the parents cooperation in this but if that fails what do you do.

thatbags Mon 04-May-15 17:35:24

Unless you want to live in a really totalitarian state (I don't), education, as ffinn says, is the key.

Soutra Mon 04-May-15 17:35:51

I would not dream of being one of those "old busybodies" who give young mums unsolicited and probably unwanted advice. Of course instances of actual physical cruelty or abuse are another matter.

thatbags Mon 04-May-15 17:35:55

I don't believe there is any other ethical approach.

granjura Mon 04-May-15 18:09:06

Soutra, not talking about 'old busy bodies' but 'society' via its agencies, school, health dpt (doctor), social services.

For instance, where I live kids are seen by the school doctor once a year- and also if the teacher requests it due to concerns. Children who are obese are spotted, and then followed, parents involved and given advice and explanations about risks, etc. if they become diabetic or suffer from painful joints or shortness of breath, etc- then the further steps are taken. And I hardly live in an extreme dictatorial or commusnistic regime- but one that believes that if parents cannot care for their children, then they need advice and support- and if necessar, to protect the child, more.

Would anyone actually say that it would be dictatorial and extreme to enforce colour coding of all prepared foods, for instance- that would be akin to education.

Or, perhaps more controversial, to ask parents of obese children to attend sessions on nutrition and health?

Hope, so hope- that we can discuss this sensibly and calmly- as it is so important for the children.

Soutra Mon 04-May-15 18:16:10

I take your point I was replying to your observation of 17.03.