Have you ever paid attention to commercials from fast food restaurants? Beside the pictures of food that make your mouth water, some advertisements also feature a toy that comes with a kid’s meal.
In fact, research shows fast food marketing tempts children from lower economic status with the toy that comes with the food. Conversely, marketing in middle to upper class neighborhoods lure families in with healthy meal options, such as apple slices and milk. Why the difference?
One study postulates the offer of getting a toy can get children to eat more. In oppressed neighborhoods, where children may not have as many toys, this may attract a child to persuade their parents to eat at fast food restaurants. In more affluent neighborhoods, the family’s focus is more set on healthier food choices.
Interestingly, scientific studies show how fast food restaurants in lower income neighborhoods are partially responsible for increasing the obesity rates in children. These restaurants offer inexpensive food that is also high in calories. Lower income families may be able to afford it, but it is not healthy to consume on a regular basis.
Quantity doesn’t mean as much as quality. This is especially true when it comes to food consumption. As health expert Vijay Eswaran posted on LinkedIn, a healthy diet translates to a healthy body. An unhealthy body contributes to obesity. Education regarding what children should eat and should not eat is needed to stop the obesity epidemic in poor neighborhoods.