Advertising Effects on Children's Consumption

Juana Olmedo

Breakfast cereal represents the most advertised food on child-targeted television. These ads are for products containing high sugar levels, which cause serious health effects. Compared to adult cereals, those advertised to children contain 85% more sugar, 65% less fiber, and 60% more sodium. Children are a vulnerable target since they can’t speak up for themselves and lack cognitive abilities to understand persuasive messages. As technology increases, children have easier access to the internet and media without parental supervision. Social media is becoming a more appealing way to reach the youth audience. Children are more prone to be influenced by what they consume, which can result in lifelong health effects, affecting not only them, but future generations as well with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, etc.  

My goal for my exhibit and final book was to bring more awareness to this topic and create a call to action to make a change. As for my clock, the goal was to visually represent the positive correlation between the consumption of television and that of sugar found in breakfast cereals. In very young children, research has found that for every one-hour increase in TV viewing per day, there are higher intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, fast food, red and processed meat, and overall calories. The final takeaway here should be wanting to learn more about what programs you can join or support to protect children from advertisers.