East Texas nutritionist disappointed by change in candy marketing for kids

East Texas nutritionist disappointed by change in candy marketing for kids
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's chocolaty, colorful and oh so sugary sweet.

Commercials like those were all the rage back in the 80s, and they not so subtly tempted small children with candy.

"It's fun to them, you know," said Tori Wise.

But come this Easter weekend, you may see fewer commercials like this.

That's because six big name candy companies including Ferrara, Ghirardelli, and Jelly Belly have vowed to stop directing advertising toward children under 12.

"When they, you know, see these ads on TV or online or whatever then they have that brand recognition. They go to the store, the stores are placing these things right along their little eye level and they throw fits for them in the store," said Amanda Calk, the child nutrition director at Huntington ISD.

Calk experiences firsthand the uphill battle to combat childhood obesity.

"Over a third of our kids now are obese," Calk said.

That percentage is expected to rise. She points out that the next time you're watching TV, notice just how many vegetable commercials you see versus those for junk food.

"Once they start to learn that's what they want, that's what they like, then it's hard to get them to eat the good stuff," Calk said.

However, advertising doesn't carry all the blame.

"You shouldn't wake your child up every morning at 7 and say, 'Hey, here's a bowl of candy,' but you know Easter, Halloween, there's exceptions to it," Wise said.

Wise says she finds a happy medium for her son Kingston, and experts say that's the way to go.

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