This isn't about the Book It program, but the article continues to signify the dangers of children eating too much junk food:
[url=http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070329_forget_big_tobacco_big_food_kills/]Forget Big Tobacco—Big Food Kills
By Marie Cocco
WASHINGTON—If we are what we eat and we eat what is advertised, then American children are facing death by junk food.
Half of all the advertising time on children’s television shows is devoted to food ads, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study of food advertising aimed at kids. And what do the commercials pitch? Candy, cereal, fast-food and other restaurants, soda and other sweetened drinks.
Just as surely as the tobacco industry tried for years—and succeeded—in hooking young kids on its deadly weed, the food industry is spending billions to advertise products that will make the next generation look and live like its porky parents: overweight, and at great risk of debilitating disease and early deaths linked to obesity.
Concerned by the lack of publicly available information about food advertising to kids, the Kaiser foundation went well beyond the 40 to 50 hours of programming that had typically been reviewed in earlier studies and examined 1,600 hours of TV fare. More important, the foundation reviewed all types of programs that children see—not just cartoons and other children’s shows, but sitcoms, reality shows, movies and others that older children prefer.
The result is an alarming portrait of kids who are bombarded with precisely the opposite message about food and fitness than the one the government and the medical profession agree is needed for good health. Children between ages 2 and 7 see 12 food ads per day—that’s more than 4,000 per year. Those in the next age group—the pre-adolescent “tweens” between 8 and 12—see even more. They’re tuned in to 21 food ads every day, or more than 7,000 every year. Teenagers see somewhat fewer ads, but even they will view 17 food ads a day.