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The issue that I discovered through research was the controversial growing issue with how marketing to children is a cause of the child hood obesity epidemic. Deceptive advertisement influences is one of the causes for children's poor food choices. Advertisements can be deceiving. According to Stepanie Clifford, Susan Linn director of campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood said, "They [the advertisements] are powerful and incredibly insidious" (para.22). On the other hand, advertisement agencies are just doing their job. According to Mrs. Clifford, the director for marketing communications at Duncan Enterprises, Aluso Dias said, "We don't want to deceive anyone" (para.3). Because, marketing to children is one of the causes for child obesity the advertisement agencies should encourage healthier foods, instead, they are coming up with new methods of influencing children's food choices.
There are three main groups that are involved or affected in this debate, which are the advertising agencies, the children, and even the parents of the children. According to the author Jason Cartere, who wrote the book, Food Marketing and Childhood, "It has been estimated that, because of children's impact on purchasing behavior, the food industry spent $10 to $12 billion in 2002 to reach them" (12). Advertising companies engage in promotional spending to attraction the attention of their customers, including children, to specific products in the grocery store. Children and teenagers are an important market segment. According to Mr. Cartere, "They not only have significant spending power of their own, but they also influence the purchases of their parents and are the adults consumers of the future" (12). So it seems to me that the parents, children and the advertising agencies are all involved in this controversy in the some way of another.
First, the advertisement agencies and how they are involved by the stake to gain money. Marketing agencies targeted at children has invested a billion dollar industry that is highly effective. According to Dr. Kunkel, "More than 100 studies demonstrate that food marketing is largely successful at influencing children, which is hardly surprising outcome, given the billions of dollars the industry invests in such effects" (2).Much of that purchasing influence relates to food. Mr. Cartere states, "According to one estimate, annual sales of food to children exceeded $27 billion in 2002" (12). These agencies benefit from food advertised at children. They influence children's choice of foods. Dr. Kunkel indicated, "In summarizing the overall evidence, the IOM concluded there is strong evidence that advertising influences the short-term food consumption of children aged 2-11, and the regular diet of 2-5 year- old" (2). Therefore, the advertising agencies do gain some money by influencing children to consume their food products promoted.
The second group that is involved is the children. Young children are major consumers of the products industries. This trend prompted concerns about the effects of the advertisements on children's health. According to the book , Preventing Childhood Obesity, "The quantity and nature of advertisements to which children are exposed to daily, reinforced through multiple media channels, appear to contribute to food, beverage, and sedentary - pursuit choices that can adversely affect energy balance" (172). Children are involved, because their health is affected by these unhealthy food advertisements. According the book, Preventing Childhood obesity, "Dietary and other choices influenced by exposure to these advertisements may likely contribute to energy imbalance and weight gain, resulting in obesity" (173). It does seem the advertisement agencies do have an impact on children's product brand and first choice, and effect on consumption behavior. Dr. Kunkel had stated, "The conclusion that children's exposure to unhealthy food advertising contributes to their weight status is now widely known" (p.2). It is evident that advertising achieves its intended goal, which is to influence children's product choices even when they're not healthy.
The third group that is involved by this controversy is the children's parents. From a practical viewpoint, parents play a fundamental role as household policy makers. By promoting certain values and attitudes, by rewarding or reinforcing specific behaviors, and by serving as role models parents have a profound influence on their children. According to the authors of Preventing Childhood Obesity, "They make daily, decision on recreational opportunities, food availability at home, and children's allowances; they determine the setting for food eaten in the home; and they implement countless other rules and policies that influence the extent to which various members of the family engage in healthful eating and physical activity" (289).Children's health need to be raised by a home environment with engaged and skillful parenting, that models values, encourages sensible eating habits, and physically an active lifestyle. According to Preventing Childhood Obesity, "Finally, a 10-year longitudinal study conducted in Denmark has identified parental neglect as a powerful predictor of the subsequent development of obesity" (287). Parents' involvement can contribute to active behaviors in children. According to Preventing Childhood Obesity, "Although treatment of childhood obesity is beyond the scope of this report, treatment studies have demonstrated that intensive involvement of parents in interventions to change obese children's dietary and physical activity behaviors has contributed to success in weight loss and long-term weight maintenance" (287). As children develop, parents play an expanding role in determining the foods that are available to them.
People have various needs, including the physiological needs, like food. Advertisements industries that promote an unhealthy diet do have an effect on children's physiological need for food. Mr.Cartere said, "Advertising agencies spend significant amounts of packaging designed to appeal to children" (13). Emotional appeal, technique used to appeal to the emotions and values viewers care deeply about. According to the book , Preventing Childhood Obesity, "Marketers use a variety of techniques, styles, and channels to reach children and youth, including sales promotions, celebrity or cartoon - character endorsements, product placements, and the co-marketing of brands" (173). Children who see these kind of advertisement are evoked through their physiological need for food, which interns, is likely to be sub missioned by obesity. Dr. Kunkel also stated, "Children who see more food advertising have a significantly higher risk of succumbing to obesity" (2). Advertisements do often appeal directly or indirectly to one or more various needs, though these are products that are nit part if a healthy diet.
Using wide range of approaches, advertising companies, market their poor nutritional food products to children. Children view the products that are not a part of a healthy diet, which interns, are seduced to believe they can eat the sugary products and not think about the consequences. According to the Encyclopedia of Obesity, "One study found that among children as young as three, the amount of weekly television was significantly related to their caloric intake as well as requests and parental purchases of specific foods they saw advertised on television" (8). Well, most of the television advertisements directed at children promote food, such as candy and sweetened breakfast cereals. Dr. Kunkel states, "The vast majority of child targeted food advertising promotes obesogenic products that are high in added fat, salt, and sugar" (p.2). Ethical ways used to market to children seem to have a negative consequence, childhood obesity.
The negative consequence, the obesity epidemic in this case, seem to be an effect of directly advertising to children, which has made me think of the two philosophical principle that I believe. Children need to be guided in the right direction by their parents and the environmental factors around them. Childhood obesity involves immediate and long-term risks to physical health, which food marketing are among the suggested contributors to the rise in obesity rates. According to, Preventing Childhood Obesity, "The rise in children's obesity is a particular concern, because overweight adults, and because obese children are likely to suffer from associated medical problems earlier in life" (1). Parents should teach their children a lifestyle in which children learn about the health benefits of nutrition and physical activity.
Another philosophical principle I believe is just something's shouldn't be said if it is not true. Misleading someone is not the truth. Advertising food as healthy doesn't make the product healthy. Dr. Kunkel said, "The industry say all of the food its advertises to children under its self-regulatory initiative are healthy; but my independent analysis apply U.S. government nutritional standards, say more than two of every three advertised products fall in the poorest nutritional category" (p.3).They can easily be persuaded and be guided in the wrong direction, into thinking something that is not true. The nutritional facts that is included and excluded in a product should be clearly established. Even the simplest advertisements can be misunderstood easily.
Children can be persuaded into the need of the poorest nutritional foods. Therefore, I wish to stand by the children on this issue. Dr. Kunkel said, "Extensive research I have conducted since 2005 shows that prior to the advent of self-regulating, 84% of all foods advertised on television to children were products in the poorest nutritional category, which consist mostly of highly sugared cereals, beverages, and snacks, along with fatty and salty fast foods" (p.3). These kinds of products that promoted are supposed to be consumed once in a while. Yet, the advertisement agencies are hardly making an effort. Dr. Kunkel made a statement, "But my studies show that in 2007, the proportion of foods marketed to children that remained unhealthy was 79% and in 2009 it was still a 72% (p.3). Why wouldn't the advertising agencies change how they direct their promotions aimed at children? Childhood obesity clearly appears to be a condition that is occurring more frequently and extensively among individuals in a community or population than is expected, this suggests an epidemic.
Overall, information clearly indicated that obesity dominance in U.S. children to upsetting amount's, but main questions remain about the consequences of this problem. According to Preventing Childhood Obesity, "The primary concern about childhood obesity is its potential impact on well-being, not only in childhood but into adulthood, with the term "well- being" reflecting the committees view that social and emotional health is as important as physical health" (65).Childhood obesity is associated with a wide array of disorders that affect multiple organ systems. According to, Preventing Childhood Obesity, "These disorders include hypertension, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance/insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, cholelthiasis, sleep apnea, menstrual abnormalities, impaired balance, and orthopedic problems" (67). Conditions related to childhood obesity, may even become ordinary. According to Preventing Childhood Obesity, " It is possible that if the childhood obesity epidemic continues at its current rate, conditions related to type 2 diabetes-such as blindness, amputation, coronary artery disease, stroke, and kidney failure- will become ordinary in middle- aged people" (69).
Parents should educate their children, from a young age, about making decisions regarding dietary intake, so that as they get older, the children can take on increasing responsibility for decisions regarding the types and amounts of foods and beverages they consume. According to Preventing Childhood Obesity, "Parents should promote healthful food choices by school-aged- children and youth by making a variety of nutritious, low-energy-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, available in the home" (293). Parents should promote physical activity as well. According to, Preventing Childhood Obesity, "Parents should promote physical activity by supporting and encouraging children and youth to be active and play outdoors and participate in opportunities for physical activity" (300). So the different techniques used to market to children so seem to contribute to a negative consequences.
To sum up my conclusion, due to the philosophical principles, basically just doing the right thing, I wish to support the children because of the conclusion of the negative consequences. Children don't know or even understand how they are being persuaded. Parents need to teach their children how the world tries to manipulate someone. Or else, someone like the advertisement agencies will influence them. Advertisements do often appeal directly or indirectly to one or more various needs, though these are products that are not part of a healthy diet. According to the YouTube video I found, "Frosted Flakes", "Advertisements can influence children through just provoking stimuli." Children need help indicating persuasion of the psychological needs, over their own actual psychological needs. Children need to be protected by the persuasions of the poorest advertisements aimed at appealing to the needs of their unhealthy foods. The simplest advertisements can be misunderstood easily. Given that the health of today's children and future generations is at stake we, as adults, need to proceed with all due determination and urgency.
Cartere, Jason. "TV, Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity." New York. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2009. Print
Clifford, Stephanie. "A Fine Line When Ads and Children Mix." New York Times 15 Feb. 2010: 4. Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 6 Oct. 2012.
Encyclopedia of Obesity. Gen. Ed. Kathleen Keller. Los Angeles: Sage Plublications 2008. Print.
Griidgr. "Media Bites-Frosted Flakes" You Tube, 13 April 2009. Web. 10 October 2012.
Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Prevention of Obesity in the Youth Preventing childhood obesity : health in the balance. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC 2005.
Julie L. Gerberding. "Marketing Food To Children." FDCH Congressional Testimony(n.d.): Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.
Kunkel,Dale. "Food Marketing And Chrildrens Health." FDCH Congressional Testimony (n.d.): October 12, 2011.Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.