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How Food Industry Advertisers Responsible For Obesity Among Children

Some fifty years ago the war on tobacco kicked off with several bans in public places smoking, but smoking decreased significantly from 1990s. It took so long time even though scientists knew the negative impact of it for years.

Food Industry

Changing society requires changing culture and this is something really a slow process. This is the reason it took such a long time to see smoking decrease significantly.

Advertising industry has bigger impact in cultural norms and it directly influences what and how one chooses to consume. Similar to the tobacco industry, the food segment too has managed in convincing people it is okay to eat lower quality foods more often.

Lately the culture has accepted, even though unwittingly, a marketing scheme of bigger brands that promotes a lifestyle which is actually killing us, literally.

In today’s lifestyle average American consumes more calories compared to three decades ago and it does not correspond the biological need. People use to consume 2,000 calories a day between 1971 and 1974, and now it has increased to over 2,200 calories, which is a dividing force behind obesity. Lately childhood obesity has increased, even it is seen in toddlers often, and they may be plagued by chronic disease.

Treating such children is difficult as advertisers will continue luring them to consume bad calories, and that too in larger quantities.

Similar to the tobacco case in connecting dots, the food industry has made obesity a complex and it has been lately fought aggressively too by the companies that profit from people’s appetite.

The argument placed by them is that they are just trying to promote one brand over another and not to influence the overall consumption.

However, an analysis published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Obesity Reviews revealed the food advertising influence eating behavior of individual and most of the victims of it are children and this leads to weight gain.

The growing habits of eating what is shown in advertisements are projected to cost high to the national in health care. In 2015 America spent 17.8 percent of the country’s GDP on health care, which was about $3.2 trillion. The figure is still rising and it is found 21 percent of the cost was in the obesity-related illness segment.

More than a decade ago in 2005 a New England Journal of Medicine reported today’s children won’t live longer than their parents and the reason is growing obesity related problems. In 2015 the published article seems to be turning true.

So, give a thought how to address such advertising issue.

Author: Sunil Sonkar
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