Does Fox’s New Bob’s Burgers Promote Childhood Obesity?

Fox recently released clips of a new animated series, Bob’s Burgers, slated to begin this fall. The main character, Bob, owns a burger restaurant struggling to stay afloat. His family, as is typical of many Fox animated series, is unhelpful and obnoxious, with smart remarks and crude comments rampant throughout. Such behaviors draw children in, especially as the show is a cartoon – even though the target audience is adults.

Food marketing (in both commercials and television shows) has been directly linked with child food choices and their diets. As the majority of food marketing is for unhealthy foods, such as sugary breakfast cereals, Lunchables, ice creams, soft drinks and fast food, this directly impacts the quality of children’s diets. After all, kids want what they see, and this can ultimately affect their weight.

There are some staggering numbers surrounding child advertisements:

  • Advertising directed at children is estimated at over $15 billion annually – about 2.5 times more than what it was in 1992.
  • The average American child today is exposed to an estimated 40,000 television commercials a year – over 100 a day
  • Rising levels of childhood obesity track an explosion of junk food ads in recent years

(facts via New American Dream)

Why can’t there be a cartoon that promotes healthy foods? Whatever happened to Popeye and his love for spinach?

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