Children today grow up seeing plenty of unhealthy food ads at home, on the road, and even at school. Even more troubling is that unhealthy food marketing has been shown to contribute to childhood obesity. Talk to your parents about why marketing matters and let them know how parents in their community are fighting back.
Children request and consume more unhealthy food after seeing a food ad. Young children are particularly susceptible as they don’t understand the purpose of advertising. How can you address the problem of food marketing to young children?
- Take notice – Be aware of food marketing in all forms, from billboards to the location of products in stores.
- Talk about it – Inform parents and staff of how marketing influences children’s food preferences.
- Take action – Join forces with other parents. Parents at Para Los Niños started a Healthy Kids Club at Food 4 Less to promote fruits and veggies. Northgate Markets partnered with parents in South LA to pilot a healthy checkout aisle in stores. Parents in LA City are pursuing an ordinance to make water and milk the default beverage in children’s restaurant meals.
For tools to talk to parents, go to http://www.changelabsolutions.org/publications/marketing-to-kids.
Interested in changing how much unhealthy marketing is in your community? Contact Ariana Oliva, Choose Health LA Kids, at (213) 351-1906.