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  CCFC Press Releases
 

May 17, 2005
Contact: Dr. Susan Linn, Judge Baker Children’s Center;

              (617) 278-4282;susan<at>commercialfreechildhood.org
              Dr. Jane Levine, Kids Can Make a Difference;

              (860) 245-3620; jane.levine@comcast.net

For Immediate Release

 

New Star Wars Food Lures Children to the Fat Side

Revenge of the Sith Rife with Junk Food Promotions

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith promotes unhealthy eating, according to a review conducted by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). Sixteen separate food promotions feature twenty-five different products, most of which are devoid of nutrients, filled with empty calories and targeted directly to young children.

“The quantity of nutritionally deficient Star War’s food being marketed to children is staggering,” said nutritionist Jane Levine of Kids Can Make a Difference. “In the midst of an epidemic of childhood obesity, once again junk food marketers have shown that they have no restraint when it comes to targeting kids. The Star Wars promotions demonstrate why we need restrictions on food marketing to children.”

Among CCFC’s findings:

· Star Wars Food is Junk Food
Every single Star Wars promotion is for food of little or no nutritional value. Ten Star Wars food products have 35 or more grams of sugar per serving; another seven have more than 20 grams of sugar. Many Star Wars foods are also high in fat and full of empty calories. A two-ounce serving of Limited Edition Star Wars Frito Lay Cheetos contains 20 grams of fat and 320 calories. Two Lava Berry Pop Tarts contain 400 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 38 grams of sugar. The smallest size Star Wars collectible M&M package contains 440 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 56.5 grams of sugar.

· Star Wars Junk Food is Everywhere
The sixteen promotions include Star Wars packaging, contests, collectibles, and toy giveaways for fast food, sugar-laden cereal, soft drinks, candy, cookies, and snacks. In addition, there are several limited edition products created specifically of Star Wars: Episode III including Kellogg’s Star Wars Sweetened Oats Cereal with Marshmallows, Lava Berry Explosion Pop Tarts, Keebler Lava Stripe Fudge Covered Shortbread Cookies, Star Wars Fruit Snacks, and the Pepsi Darth Dew Slurpee.

· Star Wars Promotions Encourage Repeated Purchases of Junk Food
The Skittles website encourages Star Wars fans to collect all 48 collectible Star Wars Skittles wrappers. It fails to mention that fans will need to purchase eighteen pounds of Skittles in order to complete their collection. This figure pales in comparison, however, to the forty-five pounds of M&M’s (containing more than 10,000 grams of sugar) kids need to buy to collect all seventy-two M&M Star Wars wrappers. To collect all thirty-one Star Wars Super D toys “for free,” kids will need to buy more than five Burger King children’s meals (690 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 35 grams of sugar) per week during the six-week promotion.

· Star Wars Junk Food is Marketed to Young Children
George Lucas has stated the violence in Episode III may be inappropriate for children six and under, but many of the Star Wars food promotions – such as the Burger King toy giveaway - are clearly designed to market both junk food and the PG-13 movie to young children. Kellogg’s Star Wars Sweetened Oats Cereal with Marshmallows has children’s games and a maze on the back of the box. Many of the prizes in Pepsi’s “Call Upon Yoda” sweepstakes - – including Star Wars toys, the Lego Star Wars Video Game, and a Hasbro 100-piece puzzle – are clearly chosen for their appeal to young children.

According to CCFC’s Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids, “The movie sells the food and the food sells the movie. It’s win/win for Lucas, Fox, and the food industry, but a losing proposition for families. Given George Lucas’ concerns about the film’s dark themes being inappropriate for young children, it’s particularly egregious that they are being targeted heavily for food promotions.”

A list of Star Wars food promotions, along with selected nutritional information, is available at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/starwarsnutrition.htm


Thanks to Sarah Thomas for research assistance and to Tim Harrod at blog.stayfreemagazine.org who first discovered the enormous quantities involved in the M&M's and Skittles promotions.


The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC supports the rights of children to grow up – and the rights of parents to raise them – without being undermined by rampant consumerism. For more information, please visit: www.commercialfreechildhood.org



 

 
 

 

 

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