Advertisements are any kids’ favorite as they are short, crisp, colorful and convey the required information through pictures mostly. As soon as an advertisement pops up in the television, our kids’ head turns towards the TV ignoring whatever work he/she might be involved in. This is a common scenario in most of our houses. But the latest WHO reports on television advertisements force us to reconsider our kid’s interest in digital ads.
The reports convey the depressing fact that childhood obesity is influenced by promotion of foods and beverages high in saturated fat, salt and free sugars (HFSS). Eating habits are a personal choice but sadly, these habits are affected by a child’s food environment and molded by food producers, retailers, food marketers and others associated with the food market to ensure that HFSS foods are available everywhere and at a cheaper rate than healthier foods. Parents and caretakers are often ignorant of these marketing strategies used in televisions and online media. But when the researchers showed these parents some of the HFSS-food marketing techniques that captures their kid’s interest, they were shocked and immediately expressed a desire to reduce it from the media.
Catchy Advertisements & Increasing Childhood Obesity
Children under 8 years of age are unaware of the persuasive intent of advertisements and promotions aimed at such children are exploitative. Children are gifted with the ability to recall ad contents and wish for certain products only after the very first exposure or after a few repetitive exposures. Parents too tend to purchase these products requested by their children to satisfy their wishes.
So how exactly do these advertisements increase obesity rates in children?
Restrictions on HFSS Products
Government should come forward to define “marketing directed at children” and also establish the legal age at which marketing to children could be permitted.
Actions to curb these unhealthy marketing strategies include:
Parents Should Play Their Role Properly
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.