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August 16, 2011

Moms try and cope with nagging for unhealthy food

When children see cartoons and other targeted advertising for unhealthy foods they tend to nag their parents for it.

Given the growing obesity epidemic, some researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health decided to examine this “nag factor” and how mothers were coping.

The results, published in the August issue of the Journal of Children and Media, found 64 mothers of children ages 3 to 5 listed three categories of nagging: juvenile nagging, nagging to test boundaries and manipulative nagging.

The mothers cited 10 strategies for dealing with the nagging: giving in, yelling, ignoring, distracting, staying calm and consistent, avoiding the commercial environment, negotiating and setting rules, allowing alternative items, explaining the reasoning behind choices, and limiting commercial exposure.

A little over a third of the mothers suggested the best method was limiting commercial exposure and another third suggested explaining the reasons for making or not making certain purchases. Giving in was not considered a good strategy.

The researchers said the study could lead to more research and new policies aimed at nagging.

Do you have a problem with junk food nagging? What are your strategies? 

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 7:00 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Consumer health, Diet and exercise


Turn off the TV, and better yet, get rid of the cable. It works! If you must watch kid-centered programming, do it via Netflix streaming or DVDs to avoid the commercials.

Well I'm not a mom, but I have had some luck with my daughter. I think it is very important to be aware of commercial exposure in every aspect of family life. Try, without isolating your child, to minimize commercialization by emphasizing the fun/taste/coolness of toys and food that are not quite as heavily commercialized. Yes, she has barbies and prefers juice with elmo on the label, but she rarely throws a fit in the store demanding these things. Maybe we are just lucky to have such a seemingly open-minded child, but I think being ever vigilant of the pervasive nature of commercialization does minimize the impact on the child. I've found that the commercials, TV shows, toys, and peers only seem to be winning half the time, rather than total domination.

2 words: Duct Tape

Dads meanwhile apparently don't care or something. Classic.

Whatever happened to the days where parents told you "no" and reason was because "I said so". We have become such a weak adult's crazy. Also, there is obesity epidemic, the epidemic is parents no letting their kids out of the house to play and/or not encouraging physical activity thus causing them to live sedentary lives which leads to being fat.

It wasn't so bad when my sister and I were growing up, but when my children wanted something they'd seet.n on TV and I didn't think it was worth the price, the standard answer was "save your money and buy it yourself". The key word here is YOUR money. Not mine. I'm not buying that, but if you want it, you get it. Most of of the time, the kids figure it's not worth i

I too find it quite offensive that this study implies that only mothers are the ones taking care of the kids. My husband and I decide together what is acceptable and what is not for our children. We took care of this issue by declaring two nights as "dessert nights." On those nights, the kids can have whatever junk food we happen to have in the house as dessert. Any other time they ask, the response is "well, you can have that the next dessert night." We rarely hear a second request. (BTW, this only works if you are totally committed to giving junk food on ONLY those two nights and if you personally eat junk food at only those times as well - or not at all.)

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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