• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is it legitimate to advertise "junk food" to children and is this the only factor that affects obesity?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is it legitimate to advertise "junk food" to children and is this the only factor that affects obesity? This essay will discuss whether the advertisements of junk food are reasonable to advertise and are there other aspects that help obesity to develop in children. Increasing rates of obesity appear to be common to the process of industrialisation and have been linked with many factors, including a more sedentary lifestyle and diets high in fat and sugars and an abundance of food. (Gordon, Richard, 2000) The number of children suffering from obesity has increased dramatically since the mid 1980's in the UK. However this is not just a UK problem but also a global issue. 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. As noted above, commercials for sweets, snacks, and fast food are mainstays of the advertising targeting children. It is well documented that such ads are typically effective in persuading children to like and request the product (Borzekowski & Robinson, 2001). ...read more.

Middle

This study countered many direct advertising/food linkage assumptions, and suggested that there was then no evidence that advertising is the principal influence on children's eating behaviours. In addition, this study showed that there was no serious or methodologically sound evidence that shows that food advertising led to an increase in the consumption by children of whole categories of food (i.e. fast food). Proponents of a direct link between exposures to food related imagery and obesity have distorted the debate by focussing on the impact of advertising without taking into account the impact of the television program environment. Kaufman (1980) provides a more balanced approach with her content analysis of American television advertising within the programme context. She found that commercial references to fruit and vegetables outweighed programme references to these food types by more than 3 to 1. Further, she found that 64% of non-nutritious foods were represented in programme content rather than in commercials, while 62% of nutritious foods were represented in commercials. In addition, she highlights that television characters rarely ate balanced meals but rather snacked between meals, portraying both food choice and eating behaviour associated in real life with problems of weight control and nutrition - yet television characters are rarely depicted as obese. There may well be some validity in this observation as Irving and Berel (2001) suggest that exposure to medias that promote a thin ideal of beauty may be associated not with overeating and obesity, but with the opposite extreme - eating disorders. It should be noted that the Kaufman study is now over two decades old and a replication / extension of the study could prove invaluable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, children can be persuaded not to regulate energy intakes. Given this, the strongly criticized promotion by fast food chains of large portions (Kucharsky, 2002) would appear to be contributing to excessive calorie intake in some children. An aspect usually neglected in this debate is the influence of peer pressure on children. Cioletti (2001) points to the importance of social interaction and peer approval for children. It is also said that advertising incites children to pester their parents. Such pestering, however, appears to occur whether there is advertising or not. It is highly misleading to ascribe this time-honoured characteristic of the parent-child relationship to advertisements. Chips are the most requested food type yet the amount of advertising for them is extremely modest (and actually only for a "low fat" brand) but in our modern society children are increasingly involved in family purchasing decisions, and so they should be. Therefore Children are consumers; they have noticeable sums of pocket money and have preferences like everyone else. While there are a variety of limits on their choices, not least economic, the assumptions that they are incapable of making informed choices and, in this context, are being manipulated by advertising is a patronising form of scaremongering; it deliberately overstates and misrepresents the potency and role of advertising. REFRENCES Anonymous (2002), Maternal feeding practices are linked to childhood obesity" Obesity, Fitness and Wellness Week, April 6, 3. Atkin, C., & Heald, G. (1977). The content of children's toy and food commercials. Journal of Communication, 27 (1), 107-114 Avery, R.J., Mathios, A., Shanahan, J. and Bisogni, C. (1997),"Food and nutrition messages communicated through prime-time television", Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 16 (2), 217 - 227. Borzekowski, D. L. G., & Robinson, T. N. (2001). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Food Technology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Food Technology essays

  1. I have been asked to produce an A4 booklet describing the components of a ...

    of meat as he believed it was too fatty for a runner. He made his own cereal as well as he didn't like packaged cereals as the contain to much sugar and he rarely tried different vegetables sticking to the norm and he didn't have any vitamin supplements or fruit only a small amount in his cereal.

  2. We are encouraged to consume 4-6 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Investigate ...

    they are proven to help increase bone health due to the potassium and magnesium found in fruit and veg. Research found on the web site www.bbc.co.uk/food also stated that eating more fruit and vegetables will prevent asthma in children and the elderly.

  1. Food Technology - Healthy School Meals

    Following the COMA report the government in 1992 devised a set of targets for diet and nutrition with 8 suggested guidelines as follows. * Enjoy your food. * Eat a variety of foods. * Eat the right amount to be a healthy weight.

  2. Chocolate: Behind its bad rap

    An ounce of bittersweet chocolate has more; from 5-35 mg caffeine and 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate has 35 mg. These levels are all well below the 140 mg that is in a cup of brewed coffee. Stimulant effects of caffeine can be initiated after consuming 150-200 mg, but this varies from person to person.

  1. A healthy diet when Pregnant.

    A healthy lifestyle will also help you to cope (i.e. eat well, rest, exercise). Common health problems Your body undergoes enormous changes during pregnancy and it is common to suffer from a range of problems, for example nausea, faintness, headaches, nose bleeds, bleeding gums, backache, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, haemorrhoids (also

  2. Find out whether, in general, more fat means more calories in food. I am ...

    computer has an advantage over the human hand, as it is so easy to change the scale, and plotted the points on the graph where the two values for each food meet. It has simply plotted the points as they are; I have not used any methods for non-parametric graphs

  1. In this task I will be investigating the possibilities of providing a healthy, nutritious ...

    This balance should be achieved over several days or weeks and is not essential for every meal. How well do my meals meet the eatwell plate? Fruit and vegetables Bread, rice, potato and pasta Meat, fish, eggs and beans Milk and dairy foods Foods with fat and sugar Chicken Stir-fry Yes.

  2. Design and make a special diet product, which could be sold in a major ...

    Bread, other cereals and potatoes 2. Fruit and vegetables 3. Milk and dairy foods 4. Meat, fish and alternatives + Fatty and sugary foods It is important to achieve a balanced diet as all the nutrients needed by the body can be obtained by eating a wide range of foods from each of the four main groups shown above.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work