Fast Food and Childhood Obesity Essay

1335 Words Oct 4th, 2011 6 Pages
Advertisement and Childhood Obesity

Would you feed your children lard? The answer for most all of us is “No Way”. Most parents can safely say that they want healthy choices for their children and would never want to give them something that is bad for them. However, with many of the foods on fast food menus this is not far from the truth. We have all heard the statement that childhood obesity is on the rise, and has been for quite some time now. We have seen the heartbreaking stories of overweight children being bullied, made fun of, and even being subject to more diseases. According to the center for disease control the childhood obesity rate rose from 7% in 1980 to an unbelievable 20% in 2008 (CDC, 2011). Parents
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The children they are mainly targeting are mostly those in the age 2 to age 6 range.
An argument for fast food companies may be that in recent years they have started offering healthier options. Some menus now offer milk as a beverage and apples as a food. While these are healthier choices, there is still very few of these options as opposed to the unhealthy ones. Not to mention in advertisements the apples are always shown with a sugar filled dipping sauce. The fact that these companies still have mostly unhealthy choices, they should not target children in their advertisement. It is obvious that many factors play into the epidemic of childhood obesity. Factors that play into childhood obesity are things such as family income levels and restaurants that are in close proximity. Let me pose this question, what food places are the cheapest and have locations on almost every street corner? Yes, that is correct, fast food. When they already have those factors in their favor, these advertisements just seal the deal for them. Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend a whopping 44.5 hours in front of media sources that are possibly displaying these ads. Research has shown that children less than age 8 cannot tell that the advertisements are merely trying to be persuasive. Children under age 6 cannot even tell the difference between an advertisement and a program. Yet
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