Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tyson: Childhood Obesity, served up with a smile

"The Bottomless Pit." "The Vacuum."

We've run out of ideas, so the nickname of the last kid is simply "Meat." Um, whatever, Tyson.

Point is, here's another example of a parent who looks perfectly capable, budget-wise, of providing healthy snacks for her teenaged kid and his starving friends after school. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but that looks like your typical suburban palace with included massive kitchen to me. The place looks Cleaning-Lady or Stay At Home Mom-spotless, too. So money is not a problem with this family.

But instead of providing big bowls of fruit, raisins, granola, popcorn, or any number of healthy (but often pricey) snack choices, this "adult" goes for the fatty, salty, calorie-laden, nutrition-deficient alternative. When I was growing up, it was something called Pizza Rolls. If it was the AM, it was Pop Tarts. Neither ever made an appearance at my house, but I saw them when I went to visit friends. I've eaten both, too, and understand their appeal to kids. Now it's Tyson Frozen Bird Parts Dipped in Batter. Yum.

I don't have any kids, so maybe I'm totally off-base here, but it seems to me that unless you are really tight with a buck, there's no way you should see crap like this as an acceptable "snack" choice to tide kids over till dinner (which will consist, no doubt, of Hamburger Helper or Kraft Mac'n Cheese. I mean, if you'll serve this for a snack, all bets are off, right? And clearly, neither mom nor dad is all that interested in providing anything approaching "nutrition" here.) Fresh fruit costs more than this junk, but at least you can feel legitimately good about your kids- and your neighbor's kids- eating it. The mom in this ad seems to have no problem with her kid and his friends popping greasy fried chicken parts- she seems to think she's done them a favor. Kind of sick, really.

Can someone tell me why anyone would go through the hassle of having children, only to serve them garbage like this? Is there a certain level of hostility involved- "you bastards robbed me of my figure, now I am going to rob you of yours?" Or is it more subtle- "look, I like you guys ok, but you aren't really worth a major investment when it comes to food. So eat this- it's cheap?"

Oh, and- "Spicy Sweet and Sour Chunks." No mention of chicken or any other animal. Well, at least you can't accuse Tyson of false advertising here. I do think it might be less cruel for the "parents" in these ads to just tell their kids "dinner's ready in an hour, there are children starving in China you know" than to hand them a bowl of this garbage. There are worse things than hunger between meals. This is one of them.


  1. What always bothered me about this one is how these kids just burst into the house and go after food like they lived there. I never went into a friend's house- even my best friend's house, where I called her parents "mom" and "dad"- and just went to the fridge or cabinets to grab food. Friends never did this at my house either. My kids and their friends never did this.

    Also, I think I can taste the sodium from watching this ad. Blech.

    1. I know, right? I always asked if I wanted something to drink, even tap water, unless I had a carte blanche to help myself to something to drink, and I always asked about food. I was raised to have manners, after all.

  2. That bothers me too. I think the mom enjoys having these boys in her house a bit too much. I suspect that in a few years, she'll be providing them with alcohol because hey, that's safer than having them get it from a stranger, right?

    But to your main point- it never occurred to me to just dash into a friend's house and raid the fridge. Ever.

  3. Just once, I'd like to see a parody ad that has Mom telling the kids to get the Hell out of her house until they learn themselves some manners.

  4. You buy it because that's what the kid(s) want.

    @John--the law in NYS is now that if there's underage drinking at your house, you're responsible, even if you claim you had no idea it was going on. I fully intend to raise my kids to see alcohol not as some strange, forbidden elixir whose consumption marks you as an Adult, but as something to be consumed with moderation because too much causes no end to problems--and if I ever catch them drinking underage, a hangover will be the least of their suffering.

    @DC--LOL! Yes! I want to see that!