• 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. Marked by a teacher

    The Impact Of Today's Chefs On Food Choice

    5 star(s)

    Delia appealed to the working generation, as she was not "fancy" with her work. The way she cooked was easy and simple to follow; however they were often very time consuming. By this, she encouraged people to take time over cooking and again to enjoy it.

  2. Explain the need for nutrition by living organisms.

    results in nerve and heart disorders, loss of appetite, swelling of joints and blotchy and scaly skin. Vitamin C keeps our gums and teeth health. Insufficient amount results in scurvy-bleeding teeth and gums. The body needs minerals for building tissues and other reactions.

  1. heal and social unit 2

    After taking large amounts and then stopping will have a major side affects on you. If you stop smoking you might be ill for couple of days because you body is used to the taking it and needs it. Age is the length of time a person has lived.

  2. Free essay

    Basic hygiene practices for food preparation and cooking

    When storing food in a fridge: > Don't allow the juice from the raw meat, fish and poultry to spill or drip onto any other foods. > Put fruit and vegetable's items into the salad drawer > Keep milk and fruit juices on the bottom rack in the door >

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

    She solved the problem by introducing a pre training snack in the morning so that she would use that energy during exercise so that afterwards she would not be too hungry. She would also eat different foods that are healthier and are lower in fat content.

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

    1 Strawberry smootie A smootie contains fruit and milk which has a lot of fibre and calcium in. A child will enjoy a smootie and also it will give them energy If a child doesn't like strawberries or banana they will not want to drink the smootie.

  1. Food Technology - Healthy School Meals

    E-additives used to additionally flavour, colour and preserve foods of recent years have increased substantially. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in sugar and fat consumption, leading to many people being overweight, or even clinically obese, from low nutritional value food.

  2. My aim is to prepare a meal and compare each component with a readymade ...

    In terms of nutrition I noticed that the salad I bought contained 450 calories whilst mine only contained 399. My salad contained 37g of protein and the readymade one only contained 30g. Both contained 10g of carbohydrate. Whilst my salad only contained 7g of fat, the readymade contained a much higher amount at 15g.

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