Advertising and its Effect on Childhood Obesity

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How does advertising affect childhood obesity? First, let’s define advertising. Advertising is a way for one to call public attention to a product, service, or need. When advertising a product, the idea is to create an interest or need in the consumer, to purchase the product. Recently, obesity has been hitting the United States in great numbers. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for sleep apnea, social and psychological problems, and low self-esteem. Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults, and develop all of the health problems obesity causes. Such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Food advertising is linked to childhood obesity, and is a great contribution to the problem. Food advertising contributes to childhood obesity in many ways. One of them being that the food advertised is unhealthy. “The mechanism of effect of media exposure on obesity may also operate through the extensive advertising messages for unhealthy foods targeted at children.” (Agarwal, Dhanasekaran) The food advertising geared towards children makes them develop unhealthy eating habits, and choices. The advertisements are usually advertising unhealthy foods, never healthy ones. “When children watch television, they cannot escape food advertising. “Sugared snacks and drinks, cereal, and fast food advertisements respectively comprise approximately thirty-two percent, thirty-one percent, and nine percent of all advertisements marketed specifically to children.” (Termini, Roberto, Hostetter) Due to limited cognitive abilities, children view many food advertisements, and don’t really have the knowledge or capability to comprehend that the food being advertised is not healthy. They don’t beli... ... middle of paper ... ... Apr. 2014. Dietz, William H. "The Obesity Epidemic in Young Children." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Feb. 2001. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. . Harris, Jennifer L., Jennifer L. Pomeranz, Tim Lobstein, and Kelly D. Brownell. "A Crisis in the Marketplace: How Food Marketing Contributes to Childhood Obesity and What Can Be Done." N.p., 31 Oct. 2008. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. "Impact of Media Use on Children and Youth." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2003. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. . Termini, Roseann B., Thomas A. Roberto, and Shelby G. Hostetter. "Food Advertising and Childhood Obesity: A Call to Action for Proactive Solutions." ERIC. N.p., 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

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