Junk Food Advertising in a Good Light

For some time, the media have constantly entered our homes. Currently, our lives are very closely related to them. Every day we use social media, watch TV or even go for a drive or even go to school. Nearly everywhere, wherever we are not matter what we are doing, we are consumed by advertising. It is so common that most of the time we do not even notice it. It drives the media, paying huge amounts of money for broadcast during peak times of viewership.

We as consumers are constantly being engulfed with newer Items and better “discounts”.

In the past, the first merchants would have to praise their merchandise so that the largest number of people would buy it. Of course, not all the information they gave to the consumer was true, sometimes they had to lie and up sale their product to raise the value of what they traded. This way of flaunting their goods lasted until the time when television, radio and newspapers were created.

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Media development resulted in the development of advertising. The technique of selling items has changed completely. Advertising has gone away from flaunting the products it’s trying to sell. Nowadays, companies are working to make sure that while watching TV consumers will pay attention to advertising blocks.

Advertising is a set of information that will help the consumer to choose a particular good or food. Advertising is nothing but a scene in which people or animals are involved to sell to specific product.

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Advertising always shows people enjoying the specific product in a bright light. They are beautiful people, usually very well dressed, and they glorify themselves perfectly. Just perfect and flawless people but by using the product advertised by them, they will become somehow even better than other. The most notorious offender of this kind of advertising is the advertising involving food.

Every year food companies in the United States are willingly spending billions of dollars on promoting their products. Using a variety of marketing and advertising strategies to influence the food choices of the consumer, encouraging us to switch brands or to just eat more and buy more. Almost all of the food advertised is unhealthy highly processed foods such as soda, convenience food, snacks, candy, cereal, and probably the most advertised fast food. With food advertising being programed into us starting at such a young age and being involved in the entirety of our lives, food advertising has negative effects on us such as childhood obesity and other eating disorders as adults.

Food Companies use an “in your face” aggressive advertising strategy to influence our food choices. With a large number of theses being aimed at young children always being bombarded with advertisements. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “Nearly 70 percent of the food ads during SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fairly Odd Parents, iCarly, and other popular children’s shows on the Nickelodeon network are for junk foods… CSPI researchers catalogued the food advertising on 28 hours of Nickelodeon programming in October 2012 and found 88 ads for foods. Of those, 69 percent were for foods of poor nutritional quality. The most common products marketed to kids were sugary cereals, candy, yogurt with added sugars, fast food and other restaurants, and snacks.” When a person is being forced into the shoes of a consumer from such a young age by the time they are adults they have basically been brain washed by advertisements to buy unhealthy foods and beverages.

The epidemic that is childhood obesity is a serious growing public health concern that has significant long term economic and social cost. With food advertising starting at such a young age it is obvious that there is a direct correlation between obesity and advertisements. The APA (American Psychological Association) states that, “Approximately 20% of our youth are now overweight with obesity rates in preschool age children increasing at alarming speed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled among children ages 2 to 5 (5.0% to 12.4%) and ages 6 to 11 (6.5% to 17.0%). In teens ages 12 to 19, prevalence rates have tripled (5.0% to 17.6%).” These figures are staggering by their self but when it linked to a study showing that children “consume multiple types of media (often simultaneously) and spend more time (44.5 hours per week) in front of computer, television, and game screens than any other activity in their lives except sleeping. Research has found strong associations between increases in advertising for non-nutritious foods and rates of childhood obesity. Most children under age 6 cannot distinguish between programming and advertising and children under age 8 do not understand the persuasive intent of advertising.” according to the American Psychological Association. To say that food companies have are best interest in mind when advertising to us would be nothing but a lie and this can be seen in the rate at witch childhood obesity has increased with children being exposed to more and more media such as tv, games, and social media.

While children are being programed at a young age to crave theses unhealthy, sugary, processed foods advertising companies are still spending billions a year to keep adult customers loyal. As humans grow older in age they tend to become less susceptive to the food ads they grew up on. Leading companies to have to target adult in a different way than they do kids, seeing how Cartoon characters and having fun doesn’t cut it anymore. Because most adult go through a stage in life where they start to care and be more concerned about their health the same companies that served you junk food as kids are right there to server you “health” food as an adult. In the journal “Priming effects of television food advertising on eating behavior. Health Psychology” an experiment of the effect of TV advertisements on children and adults was completed stating that, “adults watched a TV program that included food advertising that promoted snacking and/or fun product benefits, food advertising that promoted nutrition benefits, or no food advertising.

The adults then tasted and evaluated a range of healthy to unhealthy snack foods in an apparently separate experiment. Main Outcome Measures: Amount of snack foods consumed during and after advertising exposure. Results: Children consumed 45% more when exposed to food advertising. Adults consumed more of both healthy and unhealthy snack foods following exposure to snack food advertising compared to the other conditions. In both experiments, food advertising increased consumption of products not in the presented advertisements, and these effects were not related to reported hunger or other conscious influences. Conclusion: These experiments demonstrate the power of food advertising to prime automatic eating behaviors and thus influence far more than brand preference alone.” (Harris, Bargh, Brownell 2009). This experiment concludes that there is not only an effect on children but also a major effect on adults when shown food advertisement.

A major problem with food advertising that seems to go under the radar is the eating disorders that are provoked by always seeing food everywhere. This is a problem that has impacted most females throughout their lives. Where “women (up to 75%) consider themselves too fat even when they are below the ideal weight standards established by insurance companies (Bordo, 1993). Consequently, on any given day in America, 56% of all women are on diets (Pipher, 1995). Among 11- to 17-year-old girls, the number one wish is to ‘lose weight and keep it off’ (Kilbourne, 1995), and 80% of girls have dieted by the time they reach the age of 18 (Brown, 1993). Older women, too, are affected by weight preoccupation and body dissatisfaction.” So with over half of the women dieting in America at any given time this has given way to a $64 billion market diet and weight-loss industry. The companies behind food brands and advertising are not doing their job to help women fight the problem of eating disorders but are only encouraging it by either hooking them on “junk food” or “healthy food” continuing to sell their product to them.

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Junk Food Advertising in a Good Light. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/junk-food-advertising-in-a-good-light-essay

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