1,015 parents completed a poll commissioned by the Children’s Food Trust and it was revealed, 65% of them believe a ban should be in place for junk food advertisement before the 9pm watershed. Nearly half of those surveyed (45%) admitted they are influenced by their children when they are food shopping. Similarly, 40% of parents find it hard to buy healthy food when they experience “pester power” from their children.
By having junk food adverts shown throughout the day, children are likely to be exposed to a variety of sugary, salty and high in fat snacks. Seeing these tempting treats promoted so widely encourages youngsters to constantly request these unhealthy foods such as burgers, crisps, sugary drinks and salty snacks. For many parents the pressure is too much and they find it easier to succumb to their child’s demands.
Rob Rees, chairman of the Children’s Food Trust, said “Parents have such a tough job to encourage their children to eat healthily – and what’s clear is that they think there are lots of ways we could make their lives easier. This isn’t about a ‘nanny state’ – it’s about what will help rather than hinder parents in feeding their children well. If we’re serious about reducing the crippling costs to the NHS of poor diet, we need to get behind parents on this.”
While the elimination of television ads would be beneficial, 69% admitted they too could do more to promote a healthy diet. Cooking alternative healthier recipes is a good start but for some parents who may struggle to find their own great recipe, treating the family to a restaurant meal can be a way of introducing everyone to delicious healthy foods.
For those restaurants that specialise in guilty pleasure foods, having good restaurant insurance can provide peace of mind if demand begins to slow down.