I’m not among them.
According to the Herald 72 per cent of respondents to a recent survey favour greater government controls on “junk-food” promotions to children. Similar numbers wanted to restrict or ban “unhealthy” food brands sponsoring children’s sport. A couple of mothers are interviewed in support of such restrictions, citing the dreaded “pester power”.
As I said, I’m not among the 72 per cent. I have three kids, have done all our family shopping for years, usually have at least one child with me when I’m at the supermarket, and two of my children play team sports, where “player of the day” certificates/prizes often come from outfits like Hell Pizza or McDonalds.
But, you know what, we just say no. I don’t encounter very much “pester power” in the supermarket aisles, and when I do I almost always say no. The children watch some television – admittedly not much of it free-to-air – but they know what it is worth pestering me about (“how about making a goat curry, pleeease Dad”) and what it is not. And they aren’t fed on an unremitting diet of lentils and kale either – we have a dessert each evening, consistent with my constant message to them (contrary to the one the schools propagandize then with) that “what matters is a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Both kids won player of the day certificates on Saturday, but we don’t let them take advantage of the free pizza at Hell Pizza (as it happens, not because it is “junk food” but because we deplore the values that company promotes). I hope Hell Pizza fails, but I certainly don’t think it should be banned, or should be unable to promote its business.
Just say no. It isn’t really that hard. Start young, but start. Why would we want to contract out responsibility for raising our children to the government? Too much of life is already spent trying to reverse the pernicious effects of propaganda (“evils of capitalism”, for example) from state schools.