With the easy availability of information these days, and with all the credible reports about how unhealthy fast food is, why is anybody still eating it? Nearly every time I drive by my local McDonald’s I can’t help but shake my head at the full parking lot and the cars wrapped around the building as they wait to place their order for yet another heart attack in a bag.
So why are people still buying and consuming fast food garbage to shovel into their pie holes? The reality is, it is cheap, convenient and filling. At least in the short term. The problem is that just one fast food meal can pack enough calories, sodium and fat for an entire day or more! Eating fast food on a regular basis can lead to a variety of different health problems not the least of which is obesity.
A recent study from Reuters revealed that fast food companies are increasing efforts to market themselves to children and toddlers with television ads and websites geared to kids. In fact, the fast food industry spent more than $4.2 billion in 2009 on marketing and advertising! A total of $4.6 billionwas spent on all advertising by fast food restaurants in 2012. This was an 8 percent increase over 2009. McDonald’s spent 2.7 times as much to advertise its products as all fruit, vegetable, bottled water, and milk advertisers Why do companies spend so much money on child-targeted advertising? Because it works. Advertising is a powerful medium that people grossly underestimate. These commercials literally cause children to hunger for these unhealthy foods. And with the average child exposed to over 40,000 commercials a year, it’s is no wonder children crave fast food.