Childhood Obesity and Fast Food Marketing

Childhood Obesity and Marketing

Support for advocates of regulating the marketing of fast food

The percentages of obesity and being overweight in childhood have increased over the past 25 years. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimates that as much as 10.4 percent of preschoolers are obese. A further 15 percent of teenagers are also obese (Wartik).
This trend is alarming because of the concomitant health effects of being overweight. Being overweight and obese can have significant health problems, such as hypertension, asthma and cholesterol abnormalities. Already, more children are suffering from Type 2 diabetes, which is related to weight. Furthermore, many ...

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trend on poor nutrition and sugar snacks. Deborah Crooks criticizes the sale of unhealthy snacks in schools, saying many of these snacks are "high in fat and sugar" (Crooks, qtd in "Sale of snack foods in schools may contribute to obesity in children"). Many of these snacks are dispensed from bright vending machines and packaged in wrappers containing popular cartoon or movie characters and even celebrity endorsers.
The unhealthful effects of snack- and fast-foods have thus given rise to campaigns to regulate the marketing of these food products. Critics charge that unhealthful fast-food and snack food items are often presented as attractive alternatives to more nutritious fare. The use of cartoon characters by companies such as MacDonalds and Burger King further reinforce these products in the minds of children. For many children, the clownish Ronald MacDonald serves as an attractive association, leading them to prefer fast-food items to more nutritious fare. This early ...

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and other child-attention grabbers gloss over the important health risks associated with a fast-food based diet.

Arguments against regulation

Opponents of this measure, however, argue that marketing strategies are only one component of the rising obesity problem. There are many modern factors that are associated with the growing trend towards childhood obesity.
For example, in the same ACNielsen survey, the majority of the respondents laid the bulk of the blame squarely on the parents. Some 86 percent believed that parents should be ultimately held responsible for the nutritional needs of their children. An additional 9 percent of the respondents stated that the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/26/2016 09:06:44 AM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1631
Pages: 6

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