Marketing Apples to Stop Childhood Obesity


My six-year old nephew Gerard didn’t know what he wanted for Christmas, so I asked if he liked any of the toys he saw on TV commercials. “There are no toy commercials, Aunt Tina,” he said, “Only food commercials.” That conversation happened about four years ago.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has just released a study entitled Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States which proves what my nephew and all kids knew for a long time. They are targets for food commercials. Up to now, the governments’ position was that they can’t regulate parenting which they felt was the real problem contributing to the increase in childhood obesity. After all, there was no quantifiable data. They now have such information.

New Study Finds That Food is the Top Product Seen Advertised by Children – Among All Children, Tweens See the Most Food Ads at More than 20 a Day
34% of All Food Ads Targeting Children or Teens are for Candy and Snacks
Half of All Ads Shown During Children’s Shows are for Food

Types of Food Advertised. Of all food ads in the study that target children or teens, 34% are for candy and snacks, 28% are for cereal, and 10% are for fast foods. Four percent are for dairy products and 1% for fruit juices. Of the 8,854 ads reviewed in the study, there were none for fruits or vegetables targeting children or teens.

Follow the Money

Decades ago, an anonymous source known only as Deep Throat told Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to “Follow the money” which led them to expose the Watergate cover-up. That advice still works.

Follow the money to cure the childhood obesity problem. Let’s find a way for marketers to make money from healthy foods and our problem is solved.

To see a slide presentation.


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