According to a new report by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, “Fast Food FACTS 2013,” fast food restaurants are still targeting our kids and they have actually increased the amount of advertising aimed at children and teens. Here are some of the key findings:
Key findings include:
- Children ages 6 to 11 saw 10% fewer TV ads for fast food, but children and teens continued to see three to five fast food ads on TV every day;
- Healthier kids’ meals were advertised by a few restaurants, but they represent only one-quarter of fast-food ads viewed by children;
- Less than 1% of kids’ meals combinations at restaurants meet nutrition standards recommended by experts, and just 3% meet the industry’s own Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and Kids LiveWell nutrition standards;
- Spanish-language advertising to Hispanic preschoolers, a population at high risk for obesity, increased by 16%;
- Fast food marketing via social media and mobile devices — media that are popular with teens — grew exponentially.
My thought on this, fast food companies are very much aware that adults form their eating habits as children so they target your kids and get them hooked, consequently having customers for life.
I say turn off the T.V. and limit the amount of time your child spends on mobile devices and get her outside involved in some sort of physical activity. Also if you have young kids, ages two, three or four, you shouldn’t feed them fast food. Serve them the original fast food, fruits and vegetables.
For your older kids who have already started down the fast food path, encourage them to stay away from value meals and combos and to eat smaller portions. Have them include a salad or fresh fruit with their meal.