Seems like everytime I go online, watch TV or read an article, I can’t avoid ads for burgers, chips, soda and candy. And once I see them, how can I not want to eat them?
It’s not by accident I'm craving junk food. Junk foods’ manufacturers specifically target young people, advertising everywhere kids go, to get you hooked on their product. If you become loyal to their brands as a kid, that’s a whole lifetime of purchases for them, since you will probably outlive your parents or grandparents. That’s why kids’ are highly targeted with ads.
The average child sees 10,000 food advertisements per year, most of them not for healthy foods. The fallout from this is that kids are unhealthy and obese. Fourteen percent of children are obese and of these, 60% have risk factors for diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure.
Now these ads are on social media too. One study investigated junk foods ads on social media sites and discovered this marketing most attracted interaction from teens and young adults. It’s also been shown that kids of color are at higher risk of being targeted by junk food advertising. And this type of ad only confuses feelings about ourselves and our body image. Girls especially get confusing mixed messages; how does one stay skinny and attractive and eat tons of junk food at the same time?
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