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Joan Burnie; JUNK THE ADS Big business should be kept away from children.

Byline: Joan Burnie

OF course we should junk the ads for junk food. Who can seriously think otherwise? They're as bad as those for booze and fags.

In fact, they are worse because they target kids and parents shouldn't be shoving all that saturated fat and sugar down their kids' throats.

Not when we're raising a generation in which one in 10 of six year olds - six year olds! - is now officially obese and the average teenager is three sizes larger than her mum was at the same age.

There are certainly some slack mums and dads out there who are too bone idle or thick to feed their families properly.

They don't care what goes into their children's mouths so long as it's cheap and easy and saves them from cooking.

But the majority of us only want to do our best and are appalled to find that food they might once have thought was doing their kids no harm at all is seriously damaging their health.

Nor is it just a matter of making them overweight.

If we don't stop fattening up our children like wee hogs, they're not only going to end up with a spare tyre in their teens, but a full set of false teeth before they are 20 and very likely a nice comfy coffin to fit into at 60.

I used to preach that parents who allowed their kids to get fat should be done for cruelty - because fat kids are not happy kids.

They can't wear nice clothes. They get called names - no-one is nastier to kids than other kids. Maybe it shouldn't be like that, but it is.

I still don't believe parents should be absolved of all blame. They, after should be able to keep the lid on the biscuit tin and the crisps out the cupboards.

If it's not on offer, they can't eat it, can they?

But it's not so easy when we have McDonalds, KFC, Coca-Cola and the rest of the food industry stuffing the telly bung full of their pernicious adverts. It's not just that they make their food look finger- lickin' good, but the fact that the companies cynically push, along with their products, all those inticing, attractive geegaws and gifts which instantly appeal to the little ones.

The kids are manipulated to want not only the Big Mac, but the present which goes with it and they, in their turn, manipulate their parents to get it.

It's called pester power and it is fiendishly effective - have you ever tried hauling a howling toddler past a joint he KNOWS - because he saw it on the telly - has a free present waiting for him inside?

Time, then, to give us all a break by stopping the ads being shown at least during the kiddie programmes.

But,then, I would make children's TV a permanent advertisement-free zone.

Christmas - and I've already (groan) had the first catalogue for cards and prezzies through the door - has become a nightmare, especially for those mums and dads who don't have spare cash.

They know the set is going to be saturated with plugs for expensive toys they can ill afford.

So, either they get themselves into debt, or have to disappoint their kids.

We have a watershed for violent programmes on the TV.

Let's also have one for those TV advertisements.

If the pants fit, wear them

THANK you for the emails and letters re my few words anent cropped tops, spare tyres and droopy drawers.

Of course, you can all wear what you like, so long as you don't delude yourselves, sweethearts, that dressing like Kylie makes you look like Kylie.

As for men in shorts.

I give you Rod Stewart in those daft breeks and rest my case.

No, we don't think you're sexy, Rodders, just silly.

I can't, however, work up too much of a head of steam over those new photos of Britney in her shiny, black knickers.

No doubt it will bring the boys out in a hot flush.

But it's better that than the woman who first emerged giving the come-on to paedophiles everywhere by wearing school uniform and rabbiting on about being a virgin.

Welcome to the real world, Gail

HOPE no-one is going to criticise Gail Hipgrave, nee Porter, for having the guts to admit she won't be having any more kids.

Of course, she may change her mind but her honesty is welcome, especially when most celebs pretend that giving birth is slightly less traumatic than a leg wax and anyone can bounce back to a size 6 in a couple of days.

Real women know it isn't that easy. No matter what you do, it hurts. A lot.

Nor is looking after your wee bundle of joy always exactly a doddle either.

Not unless, like the majority of said celebs, you can take yourself off for a nice long sleep while the nanny deals with the night feeds and the dirty nappies.

But when you are half-dead with exhaustion and, despite burping, feeding and changing the babe, he/she is still bawling the house down, the last thing you need is Posh or whoever wittering on in some mag about the wonders of motherhood.

Well yes, it is wonderful, but not all the time, especially at the beginning when the hormones are churning and a neighbour asks you when the baby is due because, weeks after the birth, you still look seven months gone.

So, thanks Gail for telling it how it is.

PS: But I bet she has another.

Bob was a no joker

I KNOW I am always going on about how the stars used to be better in the olden days when Marilyn was a real sex goddess and Sinatra did it his way.

But now Bob Hope's dead and decently planted, can I just state the bleeding obvious - he WASN'T funny. Even that loony toon, Aaron Barschak could give him a run for his gags.

Hope was a comedian people dutifully laughed at because they thought they were the only ones who didn't get it.

Which when you think about it, is pretty funny.

Tony deserved it

AS the woman who once tied thin wire between her clothes' poles at neck height after some toerag broke into my garden shed and stole the lawn mower, I know I should have some sympathy for Tony Martin.

I only took it down because m' learned daughter said she didn't fancy defending me on a charge of murder. For all that, I can't quite see Martin as a martyr or hero.

Shooting a teenager with a pump action shot gun, isn't something we should encourage. Not least when it was an illegally held weapon.

This isn't Liberia.

Martin deserved to go to prison - just as he now deserves to be left in peace.

AND FINALLY

Forget those Irn Bru ads. It's the new one for YSL's M7 stinker to which I object. They are promoting this male fragrance using a man who has more chest hair than the average gorilla. Hairy chests aren't only icky, they're itchy. Get em `off!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 1, 2003
Words:1190
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