Health groups tell Nickelodeon to stop hawking junk food

A coalition of health groups is calling on Nickelodeon to stop airing commercials that promote unhealthy foods.  The Hill reports that the groups urged the channel and its parent company, Viacom, to implement strong nutrition standards for the foods marketed on Nickelodeon and by its shows’ characters. SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer should not be licensed to advertise foods like imitation fruit snacks or Popsicles, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others wrote. “Research shows that food marketing is an important factor contributing to children’s poor diets and obesity,” the letter stated. “The majority of foods marketed to children remain of poor nutritional quality. The [federal Institute of Medicine] concluded that marketing puts children’s health at risk.”