The enormous influence that advertising has on poor eating habits goes back a long way and directly ties in with the introduction of processed foods.
Before World War II, processed foods were relatively unheard of in North America. Feeding armies in battle led to combat-ready packages of food with a long shelf life. It is believed that these field rations got the ball rolling on conveniently packaged foods for civilians, shortening cooking time while adding fat, sugar, preservatives and other unnatural ingredients. You could say that this led to another war . . . on good health.
Advertising that began in the 1940s and continues to this very day has pushed the popularity of processed and fast foods to great heights. Unfortunately, children are very susceptible to this type of marketing. Buying into these poor forms of nutrition especially at a young age is connected to the rising rates of obesity and modern diseases worldwide.
Through The TV and Internet Age
In the 1950s, television programs such as “Father Knows Best” and “Leave It to Beaver” presented a picture of idealized family life. And the commercials that resulted into the following decades promoted a variety of processed and fast foods that made life easier for moms and appealed delectably to the entire family.
A barrage of breakfast cereals, flavored gelatins, pizza mixes, fried chicken, burgers, canned foods, frozen dinners, canned soups, processed cheese, rice in boilable plastic bags and more beamed unhealthily through a flicker of black and white to the advent of color TVs. And it worked in changing primarily whole-food dietary habits into heavily fattening-food intake.
Advertising has worked on a global scale as well, and the obesity results are still coming in. Along with heavier weight comes the likely onset of illness. In countries where heart disease and diabetes used to be a rarity, the rise of obesity has made these life-threatening health problems common.
With TV screens shrinking to the size you can hold in your hand, internet advertising continues to push unhealthy food with measurable success, especially in regard to younger generations.
Research published in February 2020 concluded that “in social media, young people’s responses to unhealthy food advertising posts were significantly greater than their responses to unhealthy and non-food posts.”
Not All Bad
Advertising isn’t inherently wrong. It really depends on the end result of people buying into what is being advertised.
The fact is that the marketing of poor nutrition affects so many people in unhealthy ways, especially those with young, growing bodies. It is worth noting that in 1999, over 7 billion dollars were spent on advertising food products in the USA while the U.S. Department of Agriculture spent only 333 million on nutrition education, evaluation and demonstrations. If those numbers were reversed, this blog would likely have been about the positive effect that advertising good nutrition has had on people’s health, especially kids!
Independent distributors of AIM products advertise primarily through word of mouth, social media and other internet-connected ways. What they advertise is nutrition that works to improve people’s health and maintain it. And it’s a good thing that they do.