Fighting obesity, but fronting for junk food.Disuss.

First source:
Group wants Shrek dropped from anti-obesity ad

NEW YORK–A children’s advocacy group wants the Department of Health and Human Services to oust Shrek, the animated ogre, from his role as spokesman for an anti-obesity drive.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood says the soon-to-open Shrek the Third has too many promotional ties with unhealthy foods to justify using Shrek as a health advocate.

“There is an inherent conflict of interest between marketing junk food and promoting public health,” Susan Linn, the group’s director, wrote in a letter sent today to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.

“Surely Health and Human Services can find a better spokesperson for healthy living than a character who is a walking advertisement for McDonald’s, sugary cereals, cookies and candy,” said Linn, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
HHS spokesman Bill Hall said the department had no intention of halting the public service ads, which were launched in February.

The ad campaign – which seeks to curtail childhood obesity – is a joint project of HHS, the Ad Council’s Coalition for Healthy Children and DreamWorks Animation SKG, creator of the three Shrek movies. It features ads in which Shrek, a stout and often clumsy ogre, and his fellow characters urge children to exercise at least an hour a day.

“Shrek is a very well known character in the target population of this campaign,” Hall said. “We have always promoted a balanced, healthy diet, which does not necessarily exclude the occasional treat.”
Linn’s organization – a nationwide coalition which monitors marketing aimed at children – said Shrek the Third, which opens May 18, has promotional deals with dozens of food products, including Mars Inc.’s Snickers and M&M’s candy; PepsiCo Inc.’s Sierra Mist drink; and Kellogg Co.’s Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Cheez-Its and Keebler cookies.

Penelope Royall, the HHS deputy assistant secretary for disease prevention and health promotion, stressed that the public services ads were using Shrek to promote exercise, not foods.

“Shrek is a good model, especially for children who can benefit from more exercise,” Royall said. “He doesn’t have a perfect physique, he’s not a great athlete. … We hope children will understand that being physically fit doesn’t require being a great athlete.”
Second source:

Fighting obesity, but fronting for junk food
By Barbara F. Meltz,

Wanting to avoid the appearance of a government agency seeming to endorse a Hollywood movie, the US Department of Health and Human Services has temporarily halted its public service ad campaign in which the animated movie character Shrek urges children to exercise. “Shrek the Third,” released by DreamWorks, opened Friday.
But, says HHS spokesman Bill Hall , “We’ll pop them right back up there as soon as the hype for the movie dies down, in six weeks or so.”

Who knew that conflicts of interest come with expiration dates?
If that’s not bizarre enough, there’s also this: HHS sees no problem using Shrek as a frontman in the fight against childhood obesity at the very same time Shrek’s image is also licensed for use on more than 75 fast-food products including M&Ms, Pop-Tarts , and McDonald’s Happy Meals.

“I’d call that naive, disingenuous, or hypocritical — take your pick,” says psychologist Susan Linn , co founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood , based at the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston.

Last month CCFC called for HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to “fire” Shrek, saying there is an inherent conflict of interest for a government agency that is mandated to protect the health and well-being of children to tie itself to a character that is also tied to energy-dense, low-nutrient foods. Hall’s counter is that the public service ads are not about diet.
“Shrek is conveying the message that, ‘Hey, I’m overweight, I’m out of shape, and I eat a lot of snacks. I’m adding physical activity to my lifestyle so I can be healthier. You should, too, ‘ ” Hall says. “If we were to pull the Shrek campaign completely, what kids would be left with is Shrek promoting only food products. That would be a very-one sided message.”
That thinking dumbfounds people such as child psychologist David Walsh . As it is, he says, children are only getting one message.

“When two messages undercut each other as these do, the one that is more prominent is the one that gets through,” says Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and the Family in Minneapolis. Not everyone blames HHS for wanting to stick with Shrek.

“He’s a character kids are powerfully drawn to,” says Kathy Merlock Jackson , a children’s media and culture specialist at Virginia Wesleyan College . “They identify with him. He’s kind, caring, funny, and he’s not perfect. They like that. They admire that. Just think how wonderful it would be if all of Shrek’s appeal were focused on one message: promoting children’s exercise.”

Jackson says the responsibility lies with DreamWorks. “I call on them to withdraw the licensing for the [fast-food] venues and do the right thing for kids: Let Shrek be a spokesperson only for exercise.”

Not a bad idea, says Walsh, especially considering that the Centers for Disease Control has labeled childhood obesity a public health emergency.
In a telephone interview Saturday, DreamWorks spokesperson Bob Feldman defended the choice of Shrek for both HHS and food products, noting that DreamWorks paid attention to the products Shrek appeared on.
“We made a conscious, thought-out effort to [license] the healthier choices of the fast food that is out there. Since when did candy become evil? People know candy is a treat, and parents know to dole it out carefully.”
What’s more, he noted, DreamWorks initiated the collaboration with HHS and the Ad Council.

“We want to be socially responsible. We support balanced diet and regular exercise,” Feldman said. “DreamWorks Animation is committed to responsible marketing and we are proud of our relationship with HHS, McDonald’s, and other companies.”

Are you looking for a similar paper or any other quality academic essay? Then look no further. Our research paper writing service is what you require. Our team of experienced writers is on standby to deliver to you an original paper as per your specified instructions with zero plagiarism guaranteed. This is the perfect way you can prepare your own unique academic paper and score the grades you deserve.

Use the order calculator below and get started! Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.