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Big Food’s Massive Junk Food Ad Campaign Targets Kids, Especially Blacks, Hispanics

According to a new study, children aged 2 to 17 viewed on average 830 ads each year for ultra-processed junk food linked to obesity and Type 2 diabetes — comorbidities that could increase their risk of getting severe COVID.

Children as young as 2 years old are being bombarded with ads for fast food, and Black and Hispanic kids are being hit the hardest, according to a new study.

Children aged 2 to 17 viewed on average two fast-food television ads per day, and up to 830 ads each year, according to Fast Food FACTS 2021, a report published by Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

According to the study:

“Frequent and widespread exposure to fast-food marketing increases young people’s preferences for, and consumption of fast food, which is largely high in calories, sugar, fat and sodium.”

The ads, which promote high-calorie fatty foods, are part of Big Food’s massive advertising budget, which researchers say jumped more than $400 million between 2012-2019. The industry spent a total of $5 billion on advertising in 2019.