Deceptive Health Marketing on Food Products Essay

Deceptive Health Marketing on Food Products Essay

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We live in a fast track society, and the goal of the typical consumer is simple: get the best product for the least amount of money in the shortest amount of time. When at the supermarket, it is easy to quickly scan boxes and cans for signs that assure us of a quality product. Among these familiar signs are the stamps of approval from the American Heart Association and the Smart Choices program. In many cases, however, these assurances of quality and nutrition are not what they seem to be. The use of deceptive health marketing by corporations on food products is unethical. Many of the names consumers trust to guide them in a better lifestyle are actually paid large sums of money by corporations for the privilege of putting a logo on their product.
When deciding between similar products, consumers are often drawn to familiar names and logos over the unknown. Corporations are well aware of this fact, and are willing to pay large quantities of money for the right to a label. In 1994, the Florida Department of Citrus paid the American Heart Association $450,000 dollars for a promotion and advertising deal that prohibited any other citrus provider from using the AHA’s logo or promotion (Burros). Florida Citrus has no special benefits over California or Mexican citrus- but they have the ability to convince consumers that their product is better for you. The AHA is aware that their system is not the most ethical, as can be seen in their refusal to call their agreements with corporations “endorsements”. “We don't endorse products,'' said Brigid McHugh Sanner, the heart association's senior vice president for communications and advocacy ''We call those food-certification programs or corporate relationships. None of this constitu...


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Parker, Betty. "FOOD FOR HEALTH: The Use of Nutrient Content, Health, and Structure/Function Claims in Food Advertisements." Journal of Advertising 32.3 (2003): 47-55. Proquest. Web. 3 Mar. 2010.

Ruiz, Rebecca. "Smart Choices Foods: Dumb As They Look? - Forbes.com." Forbes.com - Business News, Financial News, Stock Market Analysis, Technology & Global Headline News. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2010. .
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