Fast Food Companies Increase Marketing to Children

The Los Angeles Times (11/9, Stein) reports some fast food companies “have ramped up their marketing efforts in the past couple of years,” according to data from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Investigators reached that conclusion after looking at “12 large national fast food chains,” zeroing in on “nutritional information” about “more than 3,000 children’s meal combos and 2,781 menu items.” Out of “3,039 likely meal combinations, only a dozen met nutrition standards the researchers set for preschoolers, and 15 met the criteria for older children.” Researchers also noted that their findings indicate “exposure to fast food advertising is escalating.”

This comes at a time when childhood obesity has tripled over the last 30 years according to the Centers for Disease Control. Obese children are more at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Our recommendation? Watch what your kids eat. If you go out for fast food, do it only for a special occasion. More information on this topic can be found online, but we suggest that you look at First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to fight childhood obesity.