Blowout in junk food ads for youngsters
FAST food companies are targeting children with “staggering” amounts of advertising while failing to meet criteria for healthy meals, US researchers say.
Exposure to TV fast food ads among American schoolchildren shot up almost 35% between 2003 and 2009, a Yale University report found, while teenage exposure increased 40%.
Even preschoolers are now seeing 21% more ads than in 2003.
But despite the soaring budgets – the industry spent more than US$4.2 billion ($4.26 billion) on advertising in 2009 – just 12 out of 3039 possible combinations of kids’ meals met nutrition criteria for preschoolers.
And more than 84% of kids’ meals served at four major outlets automatically came with an unhealthy side order.
Yale researcher Jennifer Harris said the amount of advertising aimed at children was “staggering”.
“Despite pledges to improve their marketing practices, fast food companies seem to be stepping up their efforts to target kids,” she said.
Tags: , World Report