We have often thought that there must be an alternative to raise money without having to stuff ourselves, our colleagues and kids full of chocolates. That's one of the reasons why we decided to create a new type of fundraising option using our range of skincare, haircare and bodycare products for the tweens & teens. You can click here to learn more about our fundraising offering.
So when we came across an article by Emma King talking about the issue we couldn't help but highlight it here on our blog.
I was delighted to read this week that hospitals around the country are removing sugary drinks from their fridges because being overweight and obese is associated with a wide range of chronic health conditions including some cancers. The article also picked up on the need to have tighter restrictions on junk food advertising.
I thought back to last Saturday when I arrived at netball with my daughter and the adults at her club handed out "fun boxes" of 50 chocolates to each child without any engagement with parents. You can just imagine the reaction of the mum sitting next to me who has twins playing in the same team: 100 chocolates had just made their way into her household.
This is not responsible fundraising. Sporting clubs should not be promoting junk food. There should not be 50 chocolates sitting as a temptation in our house and my daughter should not be marketing for a chocolate company and selling their products to other children.
The children involved don't exactly see this as an optional exercise and feel pressured to conform.
After an argument on the side of the court, my daughter said she needed to be seen as a team player and to care about fundraising for her club. I caved in. In retrospect I shouldn't have.
Essentially our sporting clubs are helping our major chocolate manufacturers to normalise children promoting and selling their unhealthy products under the auspices of raising much-needed funds for clubs.
Our sporting clubs are clearly buying into the deal even though there are plenty of other fundraising options available (and I do acknowledge that sporting clubs and other community organisations are often chronically underfunded). This flies in the face of the Girls Make Your Move campaign and addressing the obesity epidemic we're watching unfold before our eyes – and our sporting clubs are promoting it.
The Victorian government's Better Health Channel advises that the number of overweight children in Australia has doubled in recent years, with a key consideration being unhealthy food choices. The potential for these choices to lead to health problems including diabetes, eating disorders, orthopaedic disorders, liver problems, and respiratory disorders, just to name a few, are well documented.
When you couple this with the significant social stigma that is attached to overweight children and associated bullying, we need to think about how society has contributed to this issue.
When our sporting clubs help market chocolate and encourage players to either enjoy the products or sell to others, we've got a big problem. They're not the only ones, with many schools doing the same and we as parents helping to normalise this behaviour.
It's time for us to collectively act as role models for our children and not be passive contributors. Our hospitals have started to lead the way. It's time for sporting clubs, other community organisations and institutions to follow and for parents like me to stop folding in the face of unhappiness from our children.
We can collectively address this issue by wiping out the so called "fun box" and just saying no. We need to restrict the advertising of junk food, not promote it. Our children deserve better. The buck has to stop with us all.
Emma King is a parent of two daughters and the CEO of the Victorian Council of Social Service.
If you want to learn more about fundraising for your club or association with the Girl Lane product range please visit our fundarising page by clicking here.
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