Not only are they mainly targeting children but also they target low income families and helping cause obesity in their income groups, with their low prices and dollar menus these families are vulnerable to their advertisements. They also falsely advertise their food healthy products to try and convince their target market that their food is healthy and inexpensive. Fast food advertising has caused obesity in the U.S. Fast food advertising has caused childhood obesity by targeting children. Richard Feloni argues that "American children see over a thousand fast food commercials on television every year" (parag.1). He further explains how fast food restaurants like McDonalds targets mainly children by having hundreds of advertisements mainly targeting children every year.
Statistics Canada has provided research that obesity and diabetes is a growing health concern with our children. “Almost 40% of our population is overweight. Of these 28% are considered obese.” (Reader’s Digest, 252). This data is evidence that nutrition is a concern. The American Diabetes Association released that “diabetes is an emerging epidemic that affects 230million people worldwide, including more children and teen that ever before.” (Brill, 99) Maintaining healthy weight, eating nutritiously and exercising on a regular basis are possible ways to reduce and prevent diabetes.
Obesity is defined as ‘An abnormal accumulation of body fat usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight. Obesity is associated with the increased risk of illness, disability, and death.’ A large proportion of TV advertising targeted at children is for processed foods; the vast majority of this promotes foods high in fat, sugars or salt. The debate about food advertising and advertising viewed by children is one that has continued for many years. During that time a wealth of evidence has emerged to show that targeting advertising as a means of tackling childhood dietary, nutritional or weight gain problems is completely unjustifiable and ineffective. One of the most heavily studied areas of advertising’s cumulative effects is the impact of commercials on children’s eating habits.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the country. Diabetes affects more than 25 million US residents and is strongly linked to stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. The number of people who have blood sugar levels that are borderline diabetic or prediabetic is increasing, and it is estimated that around 80 million adults are at risk for becoming diabetic. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that is characterized by having high blood sugar levels. A subset called type 2 diabetes is usually linked to obesity.
Within the past three years obesity among children has tripled. Childhood obesity is considered the number one health threat in America. Childhood obesity has become a major issue facing America. And today over “nine million” (Selicia 4, May) United States children are overweight and obese. Sadly “2 million” (Tanner 2005) of these children are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
I will argue that watching television and the presence of food advertisement contribute the growing childhood obesity epidemic by advertising unhealthy food choices, by stimulating increased snacking and by displacing time that could be used for physical activity for television A number of studies discuss the growing rates of childhood obesity. Recent research states that childhood obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 years (Zimmerman & Bell, 2010). A 2013 study showed that in 2011 to 2012, 25.3 percent of children aged 5 to 17 years were overweight and obese (Tseng, Haapala, Hodge & Yngve, 2013). Many research experts suggest that the rates of obesity will continue to grow, which necessitates further examination into the social factors influencing this increase. The literature suggests that the reason for the rise in childhood obesity has a correlation with the amount of time spent watching television food advertisements.
Many are based off of lifestyles and peer pressure in schools and in households. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004), over 16 percent of children and adolescents from 6 to 19 years of age are overweight and/or obese” (Green 915). This reveals that obesity is a serious disease that is affecting many young people nationwide. It was not until 2003 that obesity was recognized as a disease in the United States and before then a lot of insurance companies did not reimburse people paying out of pocket for their extreme over weight medical problems. “In July 2004, Medicare, recognizing that obesity is a critical public health issue today, changed its policy on addressing obesity”(Henry).
However, magazines also have a slight influence on food choices they are just not as strong as television advertisements. Children’s food choices, and their consequences, is an issue worldwide. It is estimated that there are more than twenty one million overweight or obese children, and each year it is estimated that the number increases by one million. In the United States of America it is estimated that 35% of all children are considered overweight or obese. Advertising has been proved to be an important factor in children’s eating habits.
Childhood obesity is one of the most worrying conditions faced by children during their early life stages. As in the 21st century, childhood obesity remains as one of the most serious public health challenges. This condition is global as it affects different people from different geographical regions. In addition, it steadily affects people living in low and medium income countries (Cameron, 2006). Within the past few years, the rate at which the social condition is rising has raised a lot of concerns from different people.
One cause of childhood obesity is genetics. Children who have parents or siblings who are overweight have an increased risk of becoming obese themselves. Genetics accounts for approximately 25 percent to 40 percent to childhood obesity. (Causes of Obesity, 2) Although genetics is a significant factor, diet and lifestyle also play an important role in the increase of childhood obesity. Consumption of soft drinks has an impact on childhood obesity.