To the Editor:
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent study on children and the media, released March 28, “Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States,” is a wake-up call for both parents and educators. According to its findings, young people who watch TV are exposed to a large number of unhealthy consumer products, many of them defined as junk food.
Parents can be encouraged to view television with their children and help younger ones see through many of the claims commonly used by food marketers. Schools also should take note: Incorporating “media literacy” into the classroom is an effective and proven strategy to help students question both the purposes and the techniques of advertising.
If parents and schools fail to take the next steps, we will continue to see tremendous health problems exhibited in the next generation.
Media Education Consultant
A version of this article appeared in the April 11, 2007 edition of Education Week as Study Makes the Case For Media Literacy