Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Fast Food Nation Advertises

With all of our discussions of fast food, obesity, and the relation of the two I found this article to be very interesting. In recent years as obesity rates have climbed, many fast food industries like Burger King and McDonalds joined ranks and started offering somewhat more healthy choices on their menus, specifically targeting the children's menu. These combination meals are advertised at an alarming rate and run specifically during times when children are known to be watching T.V.
This article highlights the amount of ads that are run by companies like McDonalds and how many children see them each day. Could the amount of times children see these ads be one of the factors of obesity? Many of the reasons why parents take there children to fast food restaurants besides the easy convenience is because they beg. But although the children's menu has become healthier, including the addition of apple slices and carrot sticks, most kids look at pictures, and in those pictures they see french fries at the forefront and the healthier choices in the background as like of an after thought.
Another factor involves how many children actually eat from the kids menu; many children want to get adult meals. One of the things that the article highlights is the fact that the rise of children obesity may also be caused by more children choosing items from the adult menu which have a much higher calorie content than the choices of the children's menu. So is it the number of ads that children see that cause them to drag their parents to fast food restaurants and make poorer food choices or are the fast food restaurants doing their job by providing the means for healthier choices and it is the parents that are at fault by given in to the demands of the child for a "big kids" or adult meal?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131166614

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