Consuming Kids: A Look at the Children's Marketing Industry Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1680 Words
Date:  2022-07-06

Children-targeted advertising and marketing is a social vice due to their vulnerability in decision making. Advertisers and marketers capitalize their target base into consumer lifestyle especially young children in encouraging, manipulating and or persuading on the essence of their products (Thieme, 2012). Although, children- marketing industry is enacted by a multiple of legislation and self-advertising regulations the challenges posed on the society is largely unaddressed. This paper will discuss the societal perspective on the disadvantages emanating from children marketing industry. The discussion will emphasize that although the capital value of child-influenced purchasing decision is encouraging, the societal vices arising from their market-driven advertising and marketing causes multiple problems to the child-consumers. The discussion will evaluate the influence of children marketing industry on children's feeding habits, monetary implications, and obesity. Therefore, it is important to evaluate how food advertisement through different media platforms causes children's changes in feeding patterns that translate into obesity.

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Televised food advertisement has posed a significant contributor to the consumption of certainly broadcasted food types. Food advertisement emphasizes on their target to children and adolescents due to their spending powers. Young people lack the evaluative measures on their ability to spend money under manageable budgets (Potvin Kent, & Wanless, 2014). Repeated exposure to food advertisement from different media platforms possesses health-related dangers to ignorant children who readily insist on televised brands without necessarily knowing the calories composition of the foods. Effect of televisual advertising is not easily quantifiable especially on matters to do with food commercialization and end-user consumption. Nevertheless, the articulated point of view on children's dependency and vulnerability to mentorship and junk food purchase exposes them to misguided counsel picked from food advertisement.

Food advertisements and other child instigated marketing to have over the years being used as the widest marketing base to populate new and existing products. Leading buyers to purchase certain commodities have been greatly pegged on marketing strategies applied in many advertisements and marketing strategies. Different consumer target groups especially young children drawn towards various foodstuffs affiliate by the quality of the advertisement to consumption rates. Children are vulnerable to mimicking behaviors, lifestyles, and traits from social and media exposure. Using different media contacts to target child-consumers in food advertisement have increased kids' consumption of certain brands of foods. This compounded exposure to various food preferences has changed the consumption patterns especially on children consumption of junk foods and beverages. Among other challenges posed by food advertisement targeting child-consumers is childhood obesity (Nadeau, 2011).

The numerous time's regular programmes and kid shows get interrupted to air food advertisement causes children especially between the ages of three to eight years old to insist on such foodstuffs. For instance, during a one-hour carton program, the children audience watches short durations of snack food commercials at every twenty to thirty minutes. The purchasing power in these young target consumers fails to put into consideration the end user commercial nutritional value or conditions. The failure to link the dietary value and lifestyle danger posed by food marketing on children through mediocrity media propaganda heavily put children into obesity risks. Therefore the socio-economic condition that correlates the exposure of food ads and childhood obesity patterns scores highly in relation to the consumption patterns on minors exposed to the marketing strategies (Potvin Kent, & Wanless, 2014).

Young children mainly at the ages between three and six years suffer enormous consequences on overweight issues due to consumption of junk foods on different Media. The commodification of food has not been regulated in global markets. Advertisers display appealing sideshows on the taste, quality, and affordability of the products leaving out important aspects like the nutritional values of the foods. Placements of the advertisement avenues tend to form significant contribution for young children tendencies to purchase and consume the televised foods. For instance, placing billboards in grocery stores, malls, and supermarkets entrances trigger children to demand the purchase of certain foods they have seen advertised previously. The marketing theme associated with food advertisement is audience sensitive. The manner in which different kinds especially junk foods are advertised makes them very appealing to the end user - the child. Statistics show that in the USA majority of young children and teenagers populate with a food brand due to media publicity in its advertisement. The various platforms opened up for food marketing to make visual contact with the consumer have diversified increasing access. Many times children are with little or no discerning ability to distinguish between healthy living and marketing tricks. The marketing strategy to expose children and teenagers to different kinds of food marketers use social icons and idolized characters to increase their competitiveness in the industry (Nadeau, 2011).

The changes in lifestyle have increased caregivers activities leaving children unattended, especially on taking enough time to administer proper nutritional values on everything young children eat. Children tend to consume most of the marketed foodstuffs with very appealing packaging ignorant on the nutritional composition of the food. These kids are not engaged in rapid burn-out exercises to reduce high intakes of calories than expected thus, resulting in weight-related disorders. Food advertisement does have not only real-time market per-capita-value to create a lasting and extended rapport between the advertisers, and the consumer but also has other hidden impacts on the ad information recipient, more so on pedagogical obesity (Blades, Oates, & Blumberg, 2014).

The fatness in children is a long-term accumulative problem caused by continued consumption of televised foodstuff. Through constant consumption of energy-dense foods, obese children register Body Mass Index (BMI) that influences youngsters psychosocial and physical development. The rise in global rates of childhood obesity has in recent years heightened with the prevalence of associated risks. Children who suffer from obesity have high tendencies of falling into extra weight opportunistic diseases since obesity is a time accumulated disorder. In the USA, childhood obesity is postulated to be significantly attributed to food marketing. Increased consumption of food due to televised brand contributes to increased children's Body Mass Index which eventually leads to obese related disorders. However, Rose, Merchant, and Bakir (2012) insinuate that food advertisement does not have any correlational relationship with childhood obesity. Obesity does not only occur due to eating related issues but a lifestyle disorder.

Childhood obesity though caused by unhealthy eating patterns, pegging these habits wholly on food advertisements lacks substantial grounds to support the arguments. At most instances not all children who consume televised junk food end up being obese thus, the claims fail to stand out for a conclusion. Childhood obesity has many issues that would form an argumentative basis than food advertisement because young children below three years suffer this disorder though they are not acquainted with the publication platforms. Though, unprecedented evidence point fingers on mass media's contribution to young people's self-driven perception and body weight concerns owing to junk food ads, the health danger involved is huge. Changes in social settings of family life have in recent years placed children in exposure dangers. Parental control and role in mass media manipulation of undeceiving young people have also been preoccupied with other life demand. They are too busy to ensure that information disseminated to their children is of positive contribution to them. Televised characters with high body masses might be used to advocate for certain characteristics indirectly to the general audience. Due to lack of directive counsel children will perceive the advertisement differently and ape certain ideologies that will be compromising to their health status.

Childhood obesity is a long-term problem that has manifested itself in an individual over long durations of lifestyle complications. Therefore, the disorder can be categorized among the lifestyle classification of body mass disorder. Children tend to continuously consume very large amounts of junk food due to mass exposure. They fail to have adult supervision and guidance on the number of calories they consume in any single day. Blades, Oates, and Blumberg (2014) state that the rise in childhood obesity cases globally has been contributed by widened exploration of mass communication perspectives and social roles of media exposure. The non-monolithic context on the role of mass media especially television advertisement on childhood obesity attributes to the amount of time consumed without the physical engagement of the body while seated idly watching televisions. Also, arguments have been drawn from high calories intake and reduced body activities increase chances of body weight disorder. Children consume a lot of junk foods advertised in commercials of as some elements in kid programs. Inactivity of the growing bodies of young children who spend many hours watching television caused obesity due to physical activities and changed eating habits. For instance, children watch advertised trends of watching televisions when eating certain foodstuffs like pop-corns. They idolize this behavior and eventually end up consuming very high intakes of calories leading to obesity. Therefore, mass media food advertisements either direct or indirect have a significant influence on the occurrence of childhood obesity.


In conclusion, it is worthwhile noting that advertisement and marketing publication contribute determine food intakes in young children and teenagers. They insist on purchasing foodstuffs exposed to them on marketing targets without necessarily considering the nutritional effects to their bodies. The principle ideas that formed the backbone showed that the conclusion on the relationship between media exposure and preference of food consumption in children. Also, the tendencies for minors to eat advertised foods are very high. The characters advertising food give children a high association with certain foods causing overweight. Therefore, different marketing strategies that have been adopted in the current age have tremendously added up to the serious threats that lead to childhood obesity globally.


Blades, M.; Oates, C. & Blumberg, F. (2014). Advertising to Children: New Directions, New Media. Palgrave Macmillan. Pp.17-37.

Nadeau, M. (2011). Food advertising directed at children: Review of effects, strategies, and Tactics. Coalition Poids, 1 - 45.

Potvin Kent, M. & Wanless, A. (2014). The influence of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative: change in children's exposure to food advertising on television in Canada between 2006-2009. International Journal of Obesity. 38 (4): 558-562.

Rose, G. M.; Merchant, A. & Bakir, A. (2012). Fantasy in Food Advertising Targeted at Children. Journal of Advertising. 41 (3): 75-90.


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