Another piece of research with conclusions already reached

NZ Doctor reports:

Children will wear small portable cameras on their clothes as part of a new University of Auckland study that will investigate how the marketing of healthy products and lifestyles affects children’s everyday lives.

Dr Darren Powell of the University’s Faculty of Education and Social Work has received a $300,000 Marsden Fund ‘Fast Start’ grant to research how children understand and experience ‘healthy’ marketing practices.

Sounds very similar to the stuff we have just seen which concluded that as children go to supermarkets with parents and alcohol is displayed at supermarkets, then supermarkets must be banned from selling alcohol!

“Indeed one of the main reasons I wanted to do this research is a concern that some of the marketing messages that children receive about how to be healthy, especially those relating to bodies, may actually be rather unhealthy for children,” Dr Powell says.

So this isn’t research to discover something. It is research to generate shock headlines that children see advertisements, and hence they must be banned.

When Dr Powell was told he had been awarded a Marsden Grant, his first thought was of the moment he conceived the project, a few years ago when he was watching a children’s TV programme with his son, Harvey.

“An advertisement appeared for a certain fast restaurant, promoting wraps, sliced apples, and bottled water, rather than burgers,” says Dr Powell.

“And I immediately thought: this still isn’t right. And how will this shape Harvey’s knowledge of not just health and food, but of what he called ‘the place with the yellow ‘M’?”

How terrible, McDonalds advertised wraps and sliced apples. The evil bastards. They must be stopped.

Dr Powell’s current research focuses on the childhood obesity ‘epidemic’ and the ways in which corporations (especially those of the food and drink industry) and charities are now re-inventing themselves as ‘part of the solution’. This includes an investigation of how schools, teachers and children are drawn into the global on obesity, and how corporations are using concerns about children’s lifestyles to promote themselves as healthy, philanthropic and educational.

The usual old industry is all evil and must be demonised and can never be seen to have a positive contribution.

I can tell you the results of this research without spending $300,000. It will reflect the pre-existing views of the author 100%.

I’m all for good public health research if it was to actually discover something you have an open mind on. For example what has been the actual impact of different local alcohol policies on alcohol consumption and harm in each area? That’s research I’d like to see.

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