Persuasive Eating

8th grade english persuasive essay on kids being influenced by tv commercials.

If children are not supposed to eat certain foods, why are the commercials for them specifically targeted towards young children? Television commercials are meant to be a way to advertise, but some companies use it as a way to target and draw in a vulnerable audience. Children are just one of the targets. There should be a law against television commercials that show foods that children are not allowed to eat.

            Beer commercials are just as effective as food commercials in drawing children in. According to Drs. Kunkel and Wilcox of the American Psychology Association children under eight are unable to comprehend television ads and are prone to accept as perfectly truthful. If a child saw a beer ad where people are having fun, he/she would think that they could have fun with beer too. Beer ads also create familiarity with their brand which leads to children having positive attitudes towards drinking. This happens in children as young as nine or ten. Having many beer ads around where children go, also influences them reports the University of Florida. Children who have seen more beer ads in their neighborhood are more likely to drink at a young age, and come up with few reasons against it. Children also like beer ads with animals. The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation held a study that showed 253 children 66 beer ads and 35% said that they wanted to buy beer after watching a Budweiser commercial that had a talking ferret. This shows children are very susceptible to commercials.

            The American Dietetic Association for Research and Evaluation reports that nine out of the ten advertisements on children's Saturday morning television promotes unhealthy foods. The Strategic Alliance says that the second most recognized character in the United States is Ronald McDonald, the first is Santa Clause. Advertisements even encourage children to beg parents for a specific product. More than 50% of the 360,000 ads that children see by the time they graduate are for food products. The products are rarely for healthy foods. The University of Sydney found that children's television has 18 times more unhealthy food advertisements than adult broadcasts. Lesley King, one of the researchers said, "Persuasive marketing techniques were mostly used to advertise unhealthy foods, with over three unhealthy food advertisements every hour using premium offers during the most popular programs with children." It is estimated by the APA that advertisers may spend up to or more than $12 billion per year and ads created to pull in the youth market Dr. Brian Wilcox has said that because young children do not understand the actions of advertisers, they will eat the fatty foods without knowing it could harm them. The advertising leads to poor health. The APA even recommends that advertising directed towards a young audience should be banned.

            Bodily harm is happening from the products commercials show. When underage drinking occurs it can cause death and risky adult behavior, as reports The National Academics. Car related accidents are very deadly and even more with alcohol. Obesity is also on the rise in the United States. It causes diabetes and other health issues. The Liverpool University has linked television ads for unhealthy foods to obesity. Reuters has stated that about 17% of United States children and obese between the ages of two and nineteen and 16% of children are overweight. Just think that the $13 billion a year that is spent for television ads, that leave the children of America in poor health, could be used instead to benefit those same children. "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." James Baldwin, author/ civil rights figure. In this case their elders are the men and women who created these ads.

            "If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Leon Eldred. Is that what we want the children of America to be saying? No! America needs to stop the advertising madness, the temptations, the shoving of advertisements down children's throats, and the harmful outcomes. The country can alter what is happening to its youth, but only if it takes action.

 

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