Spanish-language TV Will Make your Kids Fat


At last! someone other than myself dared criticize Spanish-language television in the U.S. But not precisely for the content of its programs but the alarming amount of fast-food commercials that are contributing to the obesity epidemic among Hispanic.

After reviewing 60 hours of programming airing between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Univision and Telemundo, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found the stations averaged two to three food commercials an hour, with one-third of them specifically targeted to children.

The study, published this week in the Journal of Pediatrics, also suggests that “to reduce the impact of food commercials, young children should be restricted to two hours or less per day of TV, and parent should talk to their children about healthy diet and food choices.”

(I might add parents will be well-advised to suggest their kids read a book or two. After all, holding something with both hands might keep them from sticking them in the cookie jar… or the Doritos bag.)

4 thoughts on “Spanish-language TV Will Make your Kids Fat

  1. It also has to do with the unfortunate reality that the big food companies are among the few major advertisers supporting Hispanic media. Folks shouldn’t be griping only about the abundance of fast food advertisers on Hispanic programming; rather, we should be asking why other advertisers are invisible.

    (Also, it’s tough for the parents to lecture their kids on healthy diets when their own hands are filled with fast food too.)

  2. No, I don’t think so. These fast food chains are CHEAP. This is the issue here: in order to eat fresh veggies, non-saturated food, organic stuff, etc., you must earn MORE than $5 an hour. Period. You want to eat healthy in this place, you need to have time to cook and good fresh stuff to do it. Guess what the average WORKING CLASS Newyorker is lacking? Both. These ad companies are doing their job. It’s the very healthy and trim CEO’s of the fast food companies, who would never eat the stuff they sell to kill people softly, like the song, stop advertising their poison. It means money for them. It means golf afternoons and private jets. Come on. Fish sandwich anybody, for a dolla?

  3. Sandra. I congratulate you on hitting the nail on the head, or better … por meter el dedo en la llaga. We tend to forget economic and class realities when we focus on a particular problem. Sure we eat garbage but good food is expensive unless we go back to rice and beans which the kids see (unfortunately!) as a badge of their poverty. To be able to eat twinkies and chips is more cool! We have a lot of work to do!

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