Exposure to Fast Food Advertisements is the cause of your Fast Food cravings

Fast food advertisements are all around us and affect our daily consumption

Paige Eum

“I’m lovin’ it!” Have you heard it before? People of all ages are familiar with this slogan for the famous fast food franchise. Wonder why people always crave fast food? Advertisements for fast food are all around us and people are unaware of the consequences that occur after consumption of fast food.

Children are exposed to all kinds of media from a very young age due to the rising popularity of phones, televisions, computers, and more. Studies have shown the food industry spends more than $12 billion each year on marketing aimed at persuading U.S. children to consume more food products. This helps fast food companies start advertising to kids early on, causing them to develop bad habits at an age where they are too young to understand what they are being manipulated in to. After research it has been proven most children under age 6 cannot distinguish between programming and advertising and children under age 8 do not understand the persuasive intent of advertising. By using bright colors and including toys with kids’ meals, companies draw young children into eating fast food which negatively impacts their health.

Fast food consumption at a young age is bad for health, especially young children, and can lead to bad habits such as intense cravings. The ingredients used in fast food are usually bad quality and can cause several health issues. Mendoza and co-investigators found that only 3 percent of the kids’ meals offered at these eateries met seven key standards set by the National School Lunch Program for meals intended for children in kindergarten through third grade, and of the meals that failed to meet the School Lunch guidelines, more than 65 percent had too much fat. What’s more, 75 percent had too little calcium, 82 percent had too little iron, and 85 percent had too little vitamin A. The so called “kids’ meals” are not favoring children’s health and by the year 2000, 16 percent, roughly 9 million U.S. children, were estimated to be overweight. Another 15 percent of children were considered at risk for becoming overweight.

Although people know fast food is not the best option, the majority of the people in United States tend to ignore the fact that it is not beneficial for them and consume it because it is convenient and appetizing. We do not think deeply about what we put in our bodies. The nutritions gained by what is consumed frames the body. Consuming foods that are not beneficial to our body systems can lead to serious health risks and this is why society should take into consideration the consequences of fast food and not be influenced by fast food advertising. As a member in a community, that builds up the society, bringing awareness and considering health before comfort would be the first step to a healthier generation in the country.