by Elizabeth Renter
If follow natural healing along with some truth news, you know all too well that processed and fast food giants care very little about the weight and overall wellbeing of children. As a health-conscious parent, you must fight tooth and nail to counteract the bombardment of advertising and marketing tricks these companies use to ensure their health-compromising products sell. But this is more than a parental issue, as unhealthy kids are everyone’s responsibility.
So, just how do food makers encourage ill health and obesity among the youngest of us? There are several ways. And all of it begins with marketing.
According to the Prevention Institute, fast food companies spend more than $5 million each day targeting kids with unhealthy foods. The food and beverage industry as a whole spends more than $2 billion each year on marketing to children. And these commercials, print ads, and colorful boxes aren’t being used to sell healthful foods.
Just 6 Ways the Food Industry is Hurting Our Children
Television advertisements for food directly affect a child’s food intake. Scientists found that a group of children eating in front of a television show with food advertisements ate 50% more calories than those who didn’t have any commercials. They determined that at this rate, the commercials could lead to a 10-pound weight gain throughout the course of a year.
The food industry invade the schools. School systems often aren’t necessarily wealthy, and when a giant corporation offers to help in exchange for advertising or vending machines, it’s hard for these educational institutions to pass up the offer. As a result, your child is targeted everywhere they go.
Despite pledging to do better, the companies simply don’t. A 2011 review of such pledges and promises made by food companies found that these vows are largely empty and fail to protect children at all. One recent pledge (sort of) brought forth by Coca-Cola deals with the company’s claims of fighting obesity and bettering the nation by offering low-calorie and sugar-free products. But in reality, they are fueling obesity and feeding disease with some of the most popular beverages on the planet.
About 98% of food advertisements that children see are for products that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium.
Food makers know that people identify them with nurturing. At a young age, American children identify food labels and company names with comforting feelings and these food companies seek to capitalize on this through feel-good commercials and filling foods devoid of nutritional integrity. This is equally true with the presentation of various symbols and characters such as the McDonald’s golden arches or Toucan Sam.
Using words like “wholesome”, “made with natural ingredients”, and “part of a good diet” are used despite having no real meaning. These words make parents feel like the prepackaged and prepared foods aren’t that bad after all, that they can feel okay about giving their children a meal in a box.
Food makers don’t care about children. They care about their bottom line. If they truly cared about health, we would see free toys offered with fruits and vegetables and exciting, high budget commercials for whole, natural foods. But we don’t.
Because the food makers could care less, it’s up to parents and role models to take the reins. If your child watches television, at least make them mute the commercials and do your best to fight the misinformation your child might be receiving from web-ads, billboards, food product placement in stores, and even their teachers.