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The fast food industry is still targeting black and Hispanic youth, research. – Science Inquirer

According to a new study released today by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, the fast food industry spent $ 5 billion on advertising in 2019, which disproportionately targeted black and Hispanic youth. According to a new report, Fast Food FACTS 2021, the industry’s annual advertising spend in 2019 will increase by more than $ 400 million from 2012, with children and teens watching an average of two or more fast food TV ads per day. was doing.

Frequent and widespread exposure to fast food marketing increases young people’s preference and consumption of fast food, which is significantly higher in calories, sugar, fat and sodium. Fast food accounts for 40% of all food and beverage marketing spending for children and teens (ages 2-17). According to a survey using data from Nielsen in 2019, children aged 2 to 5 watch an average of 830 fast food TV ads throughout the year, children aged 6 to 11 watch 787 ads, and 12 to A 17-year-old teen and Tween watched. 775 ads.

Almost all of these ads advertised full-calorie regular menu items or restaurants in general, but only 1% of the ads displayed advertised healthier menu items for advertised restaurants. In addition, only 10% of children’s ads were shown during children’s television shows, and less than 10% of ads advertised children’s meals. In addition, many restaurants have promoted mobile apps and websites for digital ordering of TV ads.

The survey also shows that the gap between racial and ethnic targeted advertising is widening. Spending on fast food advertising on Spanish TV surged, up 33% from 2012 levels. Black adolescents watched 75% more fast food ads than white adolescents, due to the 60% difference seen in 2012, despite the decline in TV ratings for all adolescents. In both Spanish and black-targeted TV shows, restaurants disproportionately advertise most valuable menu items and meal deals at lower prices than other types of shows, and on Spanish TV. Healthy menu items were not advertised.

“Fast food consumption by children and teens has increased over the last decade, and fast food advertising is undoubtedly influencing that increase,” said Senior Research, Rad Center Marketing Initiative. Adviser and collaborator Dr. Jennifer Harris said. Author of the study. “Our findings show that these ads disproportionately target black and Hispanic adolescents, who are already at high risk for obesity and other diet-related illnesses. Many fast food companies advertise the recent introduction of healthier menu items as evidence of their efforts to improve nutrition, but they rarely advertise these items in their advertisements. “

In the United States, more than one in three children eat fast food on certain days. Fast food restaurants have promised to introduce healthy items to their regular menus and healthy drinks and side dishes to their children’s diets, but according to another recent study at the Rad Center, these Voluntary policies have less impact on the purchase of children’s meals than usual. A selection of menu items and healthier kids drinks. According to this new survey, these purchase patterns reflect the ads children see, and most of the ads they see advertise poorly-healthy, high-percentage products on regular menus. I am.

Dr. Francis Flemingmilich, director of the Rad Center marketing initiative and co-author of the study, said: “Now parents need more help raising healthy children than ever before, and consistent exposure to advertising with burgers, french fries and pizza is hampering their best efforts. , Policy makers and supporters can play an important role in demanding the abolition of irresponsible advertising. “

The study analyzed 2019 Nielsen data covering advertising spending and TV advertising exposure for 274 fast-food restaurants. This includes a detailed analysis of 27 top fast food advertisers with the highest annual advertising costs and / or children, Hispanics, and / or TV ads. / Or a black consumer. The Rad Center produces an annual FACTS report on the status of food and beverage advertising for children, teens, blacks and Hispanics. This survey is a follow-up to the Rad Center’s 2013 Fast Food Fact Report.

The authors of the study recommend specific steps that fast food restaurants can take to limit such marketing. For example, increasing voluntary industry self-regulation to limit advertising for unhealthy foods to children up to at least 14 years old, and discontinuing advertising for regular menu items. End disproportionately high marketing to Hispanic and black youth on children’s television channels. Actions that the federal, state, and local governments can take, such as creating nutritional standards for children’s diets and eliminating the marketing of unhealthy food and drink to tax-deductible children. We also offer suggestions about. Finally, their recommendations include how public health advocates and practitioners can drive these changes in marketing practices.

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The fast food industry is still targeting black and Hispanic youth, research. – Science Inquirer The fast food industry is still targeting black and Hispanic youth, research. – Science Inquirer

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