Junk Food/ Fast Food Companies Disproportionately Target Communities of Color Study Finds
by India Camiel
According to a January 2019 Rudd Center for food Policy and Obesity report, there are increasing dispairites in unhealthy food advertising designed to target Black and Hispanic youth. Fast foods, candy and sugary drinks and snacks are amoung the top junk foods companies often target-market to Black and Hispanic children. According to the report, the total food-related advertising spending on Black-targeted TV increased by more than 50% from 2013 to 2017 ($217 million to $333 million).
The study also reported that in 2013, Black children and teens viewed 70% more food ads than their White peers viewed. In 2017, these disparities grew to 86% more ads viewed by Black children compared to White children and 119% more ads viewed by Black teens than by White teens.
Rudd concluded that this targeted advertising has helped to contribute to the health disparities in Black and Hispanic youth.
Some of the most advertised businesses included fast food restaurants. The long list is a foolows:
Top targeted products for pre-packaged foods inluded the following:
*BIg G Cereals
*Special K Cereal
See and download graph and chart data.
These statistics of course cannot be separated from the sad fact that people of color have the highest rates of obesity in the US. I mean when you think about it, most of the ads for healthy foods and snacks are not accompanied by a black or brown person representing the foods. But when you look at ads with McDonalds you mostly see black and brown women, men and especially children. What’s even more deep, when you speak to ones you love, they feel it’s been entirely their free-will choice to eat fast food, not realizing how their subconscious thoughts have been raided by junkfood advertisers.
Aarti Ivanic, an associate professor of marketing at the University of San Diego’s School of Business, says this is likely no coincidence that blacks and hispanics are unhealhty and addicted to junk foods and also the highest advertisment targeted groups for unhealthy foods.
The CDC reports that Hispanic, at 47 percent and Blacks at 46.8 percent have the greatest age-adjusted rate of obesity.
“Psychologically, we tend to associate with people who look like us. So if you’ve got these ads for unhealthy foods marketed toward a particular group, and you’re African American, you begin to think it’s normal for African Americans to eat unhealthy foods. Obesity now spans across races, but minorities are more overweight and obese,” Aarti Ivanic says. “I live in a food desert in San Diego, with no grocery store but several fast-food restaurants. If you’re lower-income, that’s the target market. You are going to get the $1 meal at Taco Bell. Sometimes I feel these companies deliberately do that. They know people in these neighborhoods are lower-income and can’t afford better food; it keeps reinforcing social norms. Marketing is one angle of social justice and food justice.”
LET'S COMPARE TV ADS:
And of course, where these fast food chains advertise their money, is where they would place the majority of their physical establishments. According to a report in the California Law Review written by Andrea Freeman, “Fast food has become a major source of nutrition in low-income, urban neighborhoods across the United States.”
She further states int he report: “Not only does the fast food industry exploit the market forces that drive supermarkets and produce stands out of low- income urban neighborhoods, but it also specifically targets African Americans and Latinos through race-based marketing and advertising, and expends extensive resources lobbying the government for subsidies, exemptions, endorsements, and other perks.”
Full Reports, infographs and charts are available in the download section.Sources: Vox News online, CDC, USRTK, RUDD Center for Food Policy & Obesity
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