Where do fast food chains shovel their billions when it comes to national and international marketing campaigns? Directly towards luring in the groups of children that are not only statistically the most likely to be obese, but a new report reveals that these mega chains like Popeye’s and Papa John’s are specifically targeting “low-income communities and neighborhoods of color.”
In a lengthy document released by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, the center tracked the spending of the fast food titans in order to decode their multi-billion dollar marketing strategies. And despite some differences from chain to chain, the similarities were abundantly clear. As the lead author of the study Punam Ohri-Vachaspati explains:
“Fast food restaurants in black neighborhoods have significantly higher odds of using kids’ meal toy displays to market their products to children compared to restaurants in white neighborhoods… The associations we observe are troubling because we know that black children are at higher risk for consuming unhealthy diets including fast food, and have higher prevalence of obesity.”
In other words, these companies are literally going around and targeting the demographics that are the most likely to become obese thanks — in part — to their consumption of fast food. And they’re using things like plastic toys in combo meals to bring them in.
Where’s the outrage over that?
Just ‘small’ items like McDonald’s fries are actually loaded with 19 different concerning ingredients that range from Silly Putty components to the difficult-to-pronounce “butylhydroquinone” (TBHQ). Even fast food ‘salad’ comes with a medley of harmful additives. This is what they are pushing on the children that have been categorized as the most likely to not only consume fast food junk, but also to become obese (and eat a whole lot more of it).
Even mainstream news has covered this issue, with very little public outrage or backlash following. The Washington Post writes:
“In a new study, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Arizona State University found that fast food chains in predominantly black neighborhoods were more than 60 percent more likely to advertise to children than in predominantly white neighborhoods. The researchers also found that fast food restaurants in middle- and low-income areas tended to direct their ads toward children more often than those in high-income neighborhoods, and those in rural communities tended to market their products to kids more often than those in more urban settings”
As billions are spent in marketing chemically-laden fast ‘food’ to children who truly have no clue what they’re eating, it’s now more important than ever that we spread the word to parents and families internationally regarding the true nature of what their children are being force fed.