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Is The Influence Of Media On Our Food Choices A Good Thing?

1835 words - 8 pages

Food product choice can be overwhelming and is not made any easier with the influence of media advertisements by companies that want to sell their food products to us. There are many factors that we as consumers must take in to consideration. Do we accept that the advertisement is true, should we trust what is shown to us or should we research the product and compare the cost and nutritional value to other products on the market? Evidently, it’s up to consumer to make a decision on what they eat, nevertheless if we’re frequently exposed to food advertisements every time we read a glossy magazine or watch TV then we may be influenced in what we choose, especially when the advertisement is ...view middle of the document...

The advertising of snack and junk foods that is directed toward young people is being blamed by some professions for the epidemic of obesity in Australia and other western countries. Many other parents that I have talked to have said that most of their decisions about the choice of fast food, snack food, and new breakfast cereals are based on their children’s preferences and these parents have also said that TV advertisements have an influence on these preferences.

In the US the food industry activist hold greater influence then in Australia while the obama administration has taken some steps to improve the health of school aged children companies continues to press food into novelty shape to appeal to children. Children connection with food is without doubt associated to their eyes and this were some food company are taken advantaged of children by shaping food in to friendly shape the more we shape our food the further we distance ourselves from origin of food and it essential nutrients (Newman, 2012).
One major fast food chain in Australia has move away from advertisement that intended for children, KFC has stop giving away toys to children with their food products. I have noticed with my youngest child he is influence the advertisement of a free toy with his food what child wouldn’t.
It would be reasonable to say that most fast food restaurants target their advertising towards children - an essential market for them. One of my son first choices in fast food meals is McDonald's Happy Meals which includes a toy often attached with a newly-released children's film. Ronald McDonald, first introduced in 1963, is a clown mascot intended to appeal to young children. From 1996, Disney was an exclusive partner with McDonald's, linking their products together. They announced the end of this deal in May 2006, with some reports saying that Disney was worried about childhood obesity. McDonald's has since been in talks with rival animation studios (NOE, 2006 ).
Advertisements intended toward children use many strategies: the use of pleasing characters, offering free toy and linking junk food with enjoyable and excitement. “They also apply pressure by alluding to the possibility of fitting in more with friends or distinguishing themselves as part of a ‘cooler,’ more exclusive group by eating certain foods,” (Harrison & Marske, 2005) . The use of promotional giveaways has amplified over the years because it works. It’s been shown to generate changes in attitudes and behaviours among children with have a influence on their parents’ food purchases (Harrison & Marske, 2005).

The contribution of food advertising to childhood obesity has involved a vast deal of awareness. “The Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian Consumers Association, Nutrition Australia, and others have called for restrictions...

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