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Study Shows Advertisements Are Tricking Parents Into Buying and Feeding Unhealthy Food to Children

According to CNN,  a recent study shows that TV commercials are misleading  parents into buying unhealthy food for their children.

Carina Storrs reported the following:

“Researchers looked through a database of all the TV advertisements for packaged foods and beverages in the United States between 2013 and 2014. They singled out the products intended for children as those advertised on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and other kids’ channels, and then looked for ads for these products that aired on other channels.

Related: Kids seeing more unhealthy snack ads, report says

The researchers concluded that 25 of the 51 food products intended for children were also advertised specifically to parents during the period, based on the fact that the ads featured scenes of parental figures and children playing, hugging or kissing. Of all the airtime that ads for children’s food products got, parents were targeted 42% of the time….

…’It is a dual-pronged approach where food manufacturers are targeting kids to pester (their parents) for these products, and then manufacturers are marketing to parents to get them to think these products are healthy and not to feel guilty about buying them,’ said Jennifer A. Emond, epidemiology instructor at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. Emond is the lead author of the study, which was published on Sunday in the journal Pediatrics….

…However, a recent report from University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that many of the products that are advertised to children, such as sugar-sweetened juice beverages and cereals, do not meet federal standards for healthy snacks. And, as Emond pointed out, the ads that parents are seeing are for these same products….

….’This is a sad situation when it takes so much energy to sift through false claims and to determine which products are actually healthful … advertising claims, especially when they are unsubstantiated, can certainly lead parents astray,’ Basch said.”

Companies will do unethical things to get people to buy their products; arguably, it shouldn’t happen and they are taking advantage of parents and children. Why do companies act so unethically? There is evidence that high level business leaders are psychopaths who are incapable of empathy, so they make the decisions to run a business in unethical ways.

Duncan Macpherson from Mail Online reported the following.

“Dr Babiak designed a 111-point questionnaire with the University of British Columbia’s Prof Bob Hare – the world’s pre-eminent expert in psychopathy and a regular adviser to the FBI – to determine how many industry bosses were psychopaths.

They found that nearly four per cent of bosses fitted the profile, compared with one per cent among the general population.

Dr Babiak said: ‘These were all individuals who were at the top of an organisation – vice-presidents, directors, CEOs – so it was actually quite a shock.’

The results revealed that psychopaths were actually poor managerial performers but were adept at climbing the corporate ladder because they could cover up their weaknesses by subtly charming superiors and subordinates.”

Unfortunately, many parents are too busy to cook or carefully select nutritious food for their children; out of convenience, most will choose the easy-to-cook packaged food even though it may be unhealthy. Businesses take advantage of this.  When a company seems to treat people so poorly and do such unethical things, it might be because a few psychopaths are in charge and think it is OK to brainwash you and your children into buying harmful food.

About Jason Edgerton

Jason Edgerton

Mr. Edgerton holds a university degree in philosophy. He aims to provide valuable news content for Youth Independent readers.