Influences Of Advertisements On Children's Food Choices

1027 words - 5 pages

In today’s society children have an unhealthy outlook on the foods they desire due to the many different influences on their choices. Advertising such as television, radio, news, and commercials have many negative advertisements persuading children to consume the unhealthy foods shown. Foods advertised during prime-time programs for children are often high in fat and sugar, and low in fiber and nutrients. Healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, and low-fat items, are rarely advertised leading children to desire those less than the unhealthy foods shown.
Studies show that there is a worldwide trend in increasing childhood overweight and obesity. National data ...view middle of the document...

Studies in the United States have shown that children view in excess 40,000 television advertisments each year, with most of these being for food. Numerous studies have shown that food advertisements alter children’s preferences for specific brands, and persuade them to request the shown foods. (Halford, Boyland, Hughes, Stacey, McKean, Dovey (2007)) Halford (2003) conducted a study that found that the effect of television and advertisements on weight gain seems to be an equal part with the lack of physical activity because of time spent viewing television. Francis et al., (2003) found that television causes overconsumption of snack foods, and children who eat their meals in front of the television tend to consume for dietary fat. Television influences unhealthy eating habits is because about 49% of advertisements are related to food. The advertisements normally start out with snack foods, followed by breakfast cereals and then advertise fast food outlets. (Halford, Gillespie, Brown, Pontin, Dovey, (2003)) Many food companies sell their products through television advertisement, newspapers, magazines, and the internet. Marketing methods, such as children’s films, sporting events, film freebies, websites, school books, gifts, on-package offers, cartoon characters, and film stars have also been used to promote confectionery, high-sugar foods, and junk foods to children. (Ghimire, Rao (2013))
Diet, in particular, sugar-rich food, has always been associated with dental and oral issues. Food is a vehicle for nutrient delivery; it provides energy for growth, serves as a structural component, and assists in all metabolic functions throughout the body. Child’s food choices are influenced by many things, but viewing a sugary commercial is one thing a child cannot resist. Considering that most television advertisements consist of unhealthy, sugar filled foods, not only is obesity a growing problem, but those foods often contribute to bad oral and general health. In today’s world, television has become a major part of children’s lives. Children tend to watch television during most of their free time, and unconsciously exposing themselves to advertisers’ messages. However, children are very vulnerable to the sophisticated advertising techniques marketers use to persuade the...

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