31 March 2014
Food Advertising and Child Obesity
There are rising rates in the number of obese children, which has caused many to blame unhealthy food advertising because the intense increase in advertising to children. There has been much research on the causes of child obesity. Many researchers believe that the government could do more despite the organizations that are created to help mandate food advertising. Although there is speculation on whether or not advertising effects children, unhealthy food advertising causes child obesity because marketers target young children, widely advertise unhealthy food, and the government does not adequately intervene. Some people believe food advertising has nothing to do with child obesity and theorize that including food in children’s toys does not affect children and eating. I have heard people say that it is just play so children can pretend to be adults. Additionally, the idea that food advertising is everywhere, can be viewed as just a way for food companies to market and are not completely directed towards kids. There are defenders of food advertising that have said that the government has intervened in food advertising and it is the parent’s fault if their child becomes overweight. Fast food industries do have healthier food options, later in my childhood, I have seen McDonalds working to promote healthy eating by including apples and milk with kid’s meals. The Children’s Food and Beverage Initiative makes strides in the food marketing industry by 16 companies that join the program voluntarily working to promote healthy dietary and lifestyle choices. The CFBAI still makes enhancements to the minimum requirements for the participating companies. Food advertising marketers have teamed up with toy manufacturers to target young children. According to Susan Linn, author of “Stop Marketing ‘Yummy Food’ to Children,” toy manufacturers have created toys that advertise certain foods....
Cited: Harris, Jennifer, Vishnudas Sarda, Marlene Schwartz, Kelly Brownell. “Redefining “Child
Directed Advertising” to Reduce Unhealthy Television Food Advertising.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine 44.4 (2013): 358-64. Print.
Linn, Susan. “Stop Marketing ‘Yummy Food’ to Children.” The Christian Science Monitor.
The Christian Science Monitor. 20 June 2012. Web. 21 November 2013.
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