“The problem is when that fun stuff becomes the habit. And I think that’s what’s happened in our culture. Fast food has become the everyday meal.” Michelle Obama stated this quote to inform America that fast food is becoming a problem in the U.S. Fast food had been making business since the 1960’s and proudly serving all across America (Schlosser. 4). It hasn’t been until the 1980’s, referred to “the decade of child consumer”, where fast food didn’t just try attracting adults but children as well (Schlosser. 25). This has been a problem in the U.S because America soon became one of the top countries with children being obese. There is a lot of reason why children are obese; lack of exercise, visiting fast food instead of eating at home, and sitting in the couch staring at the television screen for an extended period of time. But the most importantly is children visit fast food often. It is important to consider that fast food is not just bad for children but they are able to serve food very quickly, replacing meals that could be made at home.
Because fast food are advertising children with unhealthy meals, it causes them to become overweight, and can cause them to have future problem: this can be reduced if Fast food will stop targeting kid and parents to take extra cautious to what kids see. To begin with, Fast Food used advertisement, such as newspaper, school billboards and the media, to attract children. The problem to this is that their methods do in fact, work. Companies, like McDonalds, might say we don’t advertise children but according to Meredith, fast food companies take their unhealthy meals, put them on colorful red boxes and add a toy on it and call it a happy meal. (Melnick,web). Kids are always attracted to colorful and fun stuff, making it easy for fast food to attract kids with toys and bright colors. This makes kids want to buy the meals, and not be aware of what the food may contain. Another way fast food companies attract children is through even school. Recently 9 states were allowed to advertise in school busses as well as school, and11 more states are considering to do so (Brittman,web).
This can cause a problem because children are going to be exposed to more fast food advertisement in school and outside of school aswell. It also makes kids want and crave the fast food restaurant if they are exposed to the advertisement every day. Thus, the fast food advertisement that is being broadcasted targets children, making them want fast food. The meals that fast foods are advertising not only target kid, but they also don’t reach the requirement for a healthy meal for kids. According to Grace Dickinson in, Fast Food Companies Still Targeting Children, states that “of the 3,000 examined fast food meals targeting towards kids, a measly 12 meals reach the nutritional guidelines for pre-school aged kid.” This is a problem in the United States because the foods that are being advertised for kids are not healthy for kids. Fast food companies attract children by using role models and attract them with toys This causes children to become overweight because they will over consume large amounts of calories and unnecessary fat.
Fast foods are targeting children with unhealthy foods. Because of the unhealthy foods that are being sold to young kids in fast foods, it causes the children to become overweight and develop future problems. Kids who eat fast food aren’t able to digest the meal in one day. Overtime kids will have problems like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure because children are overweight (Overweight in children, web). This is a problem because kids shouldn’t have these problems at such a young age. Another statement to include is, “Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.” (Overweight in children, web) this is important to consider because kids have a higher chance to die at a young age and this can impact the population in the U.S and many people will lose their love ones. The food being sold in fast foods cause children to become obese, causing them to develop problems in the future.
Besides the physical feature unhealthy food may cause, it also may affect America. According to the study of Merdith, “eating fast food has pretty much become the routine for many families.” One-third of children and teens reported to visit a fast food restaurant at least once a week (Meredith, web). Kids visit fast food restaurants frequently making them want and crave more. because they consume restaurants so often, teens and children consume about 800-1,100 calories per visit (Meredith,web). This is known to be a problem because since children are always thinking about visiting fast foods restaurants, they gain more fat then a person that would eat at home. researchers have found that,”40% of children ages 2-11 ask their parents to go to McDonald’s at least once a week…Even worse, 84% of parents reported taking their children to a fast food restaurant at least once a week.” (Grace, web). America is relying so much on fast food that they aren’t eating at home. Whenever children ask for fast food their parents will take them to eat unhealthy food that is unnecessary for them. In order to reduce fast food restaurants from targeting children is to stop them from advertising to children.
The councilor of better business bureaus’ children and beverage have made a difference in the fast food business, according to Kendra from, Children Target of $1.6 billion in food ads, [the council] “has enlisted 14 large companies, who have pledged to reduce child-direct advertising or to feature ‘better-for-you’ products in youth advertising”(Kendra, web). This not only reduces the visits from children, but provides healthier foods for children. An example of how it might work is in Quebec, Canada. For over 32 years, it was illegal for fast food companies to advertise food for kids. Results show that kids in Quebec consumed 13.4-18.4 billion fewer calories per year (Deidre, web). Also compared to other states where it’s legal for fast food restaurant to advertise to children, Quebec is 38% less likely to buy fast food then other states (Deidre, web).
This is important to consider this because they are one of the least obese areas in Canada and the children have a healthier life choice if they wouldn’t hear anything about any fast-food restaurants. If fast foods reduced or illuminated advertising to children, then children would have a healthier choice in life. Another way that could stop kids from having contact with advertising, is for parents to limit the what they see on the media. Parents need to monitor the channels children watch or magazine, where their could be advertising of fast foods (Deidre, web). If parents do follow this process then kids will be less likely to know what kind of unhealthy food fast food may be promoting. Parents have a big role on how to control the way they children will become. Children often ask parents to take them to fast food, but the one that is authorized to what children eat relies on the parents command on whether to please their children unnecessary.
Fast food restaurant are advertising children with unhealthy meals, it causes them to become overweight, and can cause them to have future problems. In order to make this a less of a problem, fast food companies and parents need to take a big role on what children are consuming. Fast food restaurants targeting to children is harming America as a whole because they are the people who will live in the future. Because children are eating unhealthy at such a young age, it cause them to develop problems in the future. In order to stop this fast food companies need to lower their advertising or promote healthier food to children. Parents also need to not give in to their kids wanting to go to fast food and try to avoid their kids from seeing unhealthy advertising.
Work cited page
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Print
Melnick, Meredith. “Study: Fast Food Ads Target Kids with Unhealthy Food, and It Works,.” Health Land. Health Land, 8 Nov. 2010. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://healthland.time.com/2010/11/08/study-fast-food-ads-target-kids-with-unhealthy-food-and-it-works/>
Brittman, Mark. “Opinionator The Right to Sell Kids Junk Comments.” Opinionator The Right to Sell Kids Junk Comments. The New York times, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.<http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/the-right-to-sell-kids-junk/>
Dickenson, Grace. “Fast Food Companies Still Targeting Children.” Food Fitness Fresh Air, 8 Nov. 2010. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.<http://foodfitnessfreshair.com/2010/11/08/fast-food-companies-still-targeting-children/>
“Overweight in Children.” Overweight in Children. American Heart Association, 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2012. <http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Overweight-in-Children_UCM_304054_Article.jsp>