If you’re a parent you could surely relate to the fact that on every family trip to a fast-food restaurant you end buying your crying kid a happy meal. Recent research projects urged us to keep our facts straight: happy meals makes children happy not healthy.
The study primarly focuses on the relation between fast-food ads and children. It seems that when a child is exposed to a commercial on TV that advertises a fast-food menu he will be inclined to manipulate all family members in going to that specific diner. Also, the TV ads don’t use the menu itself to attract young customers, but the little prize you get by ordering it. I’m referring, of course, to the little free toy, guaranteed to put a smile on a kid’s face after a good and “healthy” fast-food meal.
In order to establish a connection between the amount of fast-food ads kids watch and they being prone to consume such food for the little toy, researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine, located in Dartmouth tracked a children’s TV channel back in 2009. They were interested in seeing how much fast-food ads were aired of an average day.
We can say without doubt that food ads are by far the most effective tools that any company could use in order to ensure that their produces will fare well on the market. The study focused on two separate fast-food chains. Numbers suggest that circa 83 percent of the kids that watched the TV ads asked their parents to take them to the diners. Another 29 percent of them said that they collect free toys on a regular basis. Concerning the parents, about 37 percent of them told the interviewers that after watching the TV ads they were inclined to visit those diners more often than other others.
American psychiatrists explained that children who are exposed to this sort of advertising are unable to distinguish between what is good and what is bad for their health. Again this comes to reinforce the idea that happy meals makes children happy not healthy.
Children who often consume fast-food products are more prone towards obesity than those who consume regular home-cooked food. Pediatricians suggested that it is next to impossible to make a young child change his mind about going to a diner after he has seen a commercial on TV. They also advice their parents that it would be best for them to switch to an ad-free TV channel.
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