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mass media - Samantha Katz Mrs Food Advertising In...

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Samantha Katz Mrs. Food Advertising October 26, 2007 In today’s society our children are facing record-high cases of childhood obesity, and our media is not helping the situation. Children in today’s society watch a lot of television and that is where the media runs rampant and advertises and gets inside their head. Many companies depend on television to advertisements to get inside children’s’ head and they succeed in alarming numbers. It is shown that about fifty percent of the amount of television the watch is dedicated to advertisements. The amount of exposure to the ads varies by age. It is shown that children age two to seven view twelve food ads a day (4400 per year). Children age eight to twelve see 21 food advertisements a day (7600 per year). In teen aged thirteen to seventeen around 17 food ads are viewed daily (6000 per year). With the amount of food advertising that children watch, it might lead one to think that some of the ads are for healthier snacks. Unfortunately, according to the United States Department of Human Health and Services most of the food ads that are viewed by children arefor food that should be consumed in moderation. About one percent of the cereal ads advertised mentions no added sugar, and three percent mention wheat or whole grain. None of the sodas advertised are for diet and only 13 percent say they are sugar free. In television ads “snack-time eating” is shown more than breakfast, lunch, and dinner combined. The fast food industry has also jumped on the bandwagon for advertising to children. Many fast food restaurants have meals dedicated to children. McDonald's has the Happy Meal, Burger King has the Kid's Club and Wendy's has the Kids Meal. The only difference between them, is the toy that accompanies each meal. These companies hope that when a child is asked where they want to eat, the child will answer their restaurant. This will increase their business.
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Competition is the basic driving force for why companies have added toys to their products. They have even come up with memorable jingles that children can remember and sing. The fast food industry targets children and is a big cause for childhood obesity. The fast food companies have spent billions of dollars per year on advertising and they seem to be increasing spending.
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