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Junk Food Marketing to Kids

Parents are fighting a losing battle against food manufacturers and fast-food restaurants, which use aggressive and sophisticated techniques to get into children?s heads and prompt them to pester their parents to purchase the company?s products. These ads encourage consumption of an unbalanced diet of high-calorie and low-nutrient foods. Linking junk foods like Pepsi to physical fitness or athletic prowess and one of the worst foods on the planet to academic success has to be one of the most cynical and unfair marketing strategies ever deployed. Some crazy flagrant abuses in the report are mentioned below:

  • Krispy Kreme ?Good Grades? program offers elementary school kids one doughnut for each ?A? on their report cards.
  • Cap?n Crunch Smashed Berries cereal--which, predictably, has no berries at all--encourages overeating in its magazine advertisements. One such ad in Nickelodeon magazine reads, ?Kids smashed ?em in the factory so you can fit more in your mouth."
  • Pepsi?s Web site profile of New York Yankees baseball star Jason Giambi, which prominently displays the quote, ?I usually have several Pepsis each day--it really lifts me up,? is one of many examples of a junk-food marketer linking consumption of its product with fitness.

Center for Science in the Public Interest November 10, 2003

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