Literature Review Food Ads essay

LiteratureReview: Food Ads

Thepromotion of food through various media channels has been highlyattributed to the change of eating behaviour, and consequently theglobal health situation. What children see as the desirable food intheir young age may determine their health status while at the sametime affect what they will consume in future as adults.Withthe wide access of children to the media, their food preference ischanged. Children are important in food market and therefore, mostadvertisers perceive them as the preferential target audience(Barclay). The study will therefore assess the effects of commercialfood promotion on health and eating behaviour.


Thisstudy will mainly utilize second hand information, and in particularprevious literature. From my preference, past reports on foodpromotion will be used as well as related books and journals.


Accordingto a report released by the World Health Organization, the commercialadvertisement of foods and beverages that contains excess energy andquite poor in their micronutrient has been quite rampant and as aresult, obesity and chronic illnesses among children has been on therise(WHO).This commercial promotion of unhealthy foods has been attributed tothe rising levels of chronic diseases such as heart problems andcancer among children of a relatively lower age. In fact, the Worldhealth Organization report on the European region indicated that anapproximated twenty one per cent and twenty three per cent of boysand girls respectively, and who are between the age of five and nineyears suffer from being overweight, of which a significant portionare obese. Similarly, in the United States of America, about twentythree per cent of boys and twenty two per cent of girls also sufferfrom being overweight. As a result of this, the commercial promotionof food in the media has led to increased cases of psychological,social and health-related issues among children(Boyland and Halford, 237).

Foodmarketing is majorly done through the television and also through thenew media, more specifically through the internet. Data indicatesthat quite a significant percentage of children have access to eitherof the two, or at times both. In the US, proprietors in the foodindustry inject an approximated whopping fifteen billion dollars intocommercial advertisement of their products per year. This amount ismeant to ensure that the youthful population is effectively reached.The adverts are made through various channels and which most youthsand teenagers subscribe to, such as through the television,magazines, outdoor promotions, sponsorship of events and through theinternet. As a result, the brands are deeply rooted amongst theyouths and teenagers, hoping for eventual brand loyalty.

Childrenare targeted for three main reasons first, they are able toinfluence family purchases. The choice of what to children willprefer is based on they see as attractive, yummy, and at times,prestigious. The advertisers will always use different tactics toexhibit this, and which may be in actual sense not the truerevelation of the real product. Secondly, the children are at timesindependent consumers. Whenever they are allowed to purchase theproducts of their choice or are using their pocket money, they willbe likely to purchase what they have previously seen beingadvertised. Finally, they are future consumers. That explains why thefood manufacturing companies will invest a lot in trying to buildbrand loyalty(Heath, 63).


Justlike other adverts have been regulated such as those of cigarettesand alcoholic drinks, the commercial promotion also direly needs tobe regulated. A study that was conducted in 2010 revealed that atotal of eleven to twenty nine per cent of the adverts carried out ontelevisions is food adverts. Out of those adverts, between 53 and 87per cent of them represent food without much nutritional value andthat may be harmful. These adverts are majorly aired during peakhours when children are likely to be watching(Craig and Sheton).In regards to this, the policy makers should come up with ways andpolicies that ensure that a healthy food environment is maintained,which allows support for a more healthy food choice.


Barclay,Eliza. ScientistsAre Building A Case For How Food Ads Make Us Overeat.Web.

Boyland,E J and J C Halford. “Television Advertising and Branding: Effectson Eating Behaviour and Food Preference in Children.” Appetite(2013): 236-241.

Craig,R and N Sheton. HealthSurvey for England 2007 .London: The Information Centre, 2009.

Heath,R. “Emotional Engagement: How Television Buids Big Brand at LowAttention.” JAdvert Res(2009): 62-73.

WHO.“Marketing Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages to Children.” 2006.