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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > January 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Understanding How Foods Are Marketed to Children

Be aware of the food marketing targeted at your child.
But Daddy, I need to have this sparkling star cereal. The princess on the box is soooo pretty! I saw on it television, and it comes with a glow-in-the-dark ring, too. Please, Daddy, please!

If you go grocery shopping with children, something like this has probably happened to you. Children often beg to buy a food product, like cereal, because of the influence of marketing and advertising targeted to them. Add peer pressure from friends who have seen the same commercials to the mix, and you have scenes like the one just described.

How Are Food Products Marketed to Children?

Food marketing occurs across a wide variety of media and formats, such as TV and the product packaging itself. Food ads feature a variety of tactics to get children's attention, including catchy jingles; colorful still images and fast-paced moving images; and use of celebrities or cartoon characters to endorse or represent the product. Cartoon characters may be from popular media, such as Disney characters, or characters created by the manufacturer, such as the Trix Rabbit or Captain Crunch.
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