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Australia’s Take: Ban Junk Food Advertising to Kids

Posted May 04 2009 4:12pm

by Jennifer Pomeranz

A group of Australian health and children’s organizations sponsored a video, called ShamBurger, to advocate banning junk food marketing to kids. They explain that Australian children are exposed to ten television food ads a day, almost two thirds for unhealthy foods. In Australia, one in four children is overweight or obese. The statistics are even worse in the United States. One in three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese. The average U.S. child views approximately fifteen television food ads a day, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Astonishingly, 98% of those advertisements are for foods high in sugar, fat, and/or sodium. The psychological research shows the same effects for children worldwide: children do not understand the persuasive intent of marketing. Young children lack the ability to differentiate between puffery and fact in all forms of marketing and newer marketing media employs techniques to deactivate skepticism and other defenses employed by older children. Marketing directed at children is deceptive and should be limited.

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