A newly published report states that parents should be wearier of the consequences of junk foods ads exposure. It seems like the junk food industry has a well-devised marketing strategy, ads for their products popping up while children are using mobile apps targeted at them.
Junk food digital marketing seems to have a great influence on children. According to European researchers, junk food ads that are programmed to appear while a children’s app is running are influencing the infants, making them ask for the fatty food more frequently.
The WHO report urges parents to monitor the online activity of their children more closely. Moreover, the authors point out that lawmakers should take an interest in the paper and try to address the issue of junk food ads directly targeted at children.
Emma Boyland, the lead researcher of the study, believes that children have been increasingly exposed to tailored marketing through social media websites. Such a thing was possible because currently there are no effective regulations regarding marketing directed towards minors.
Researchers found that food advertisements, especially junk food ads, are unvarnished contributors to the current childhood obesity crisis.
Due to the fact that unhealthy, fat, salty, and sugary food is cheaper and heavier promoted than the healthier options, lots of parents give in to their children’s demands and offer them junk food.
Children are easily influenced while also being the epitome of stubbornness. When a child decides that he or she wants junk food, there are no lengths that the infant will not go to in order to receive the desired meal.
The biggest problem is that parents do not usually check their children’s online activity in great detail. The pop-up ads can come and go in a few seconds without parents even realizing that their children were exposed to harmful tailored marketing.
Researchers are suggesting the implementation of stricter rules to protect children from the harmful effects of targeted digital marketing.
Moreover, scientists are encouraging parents to extend offline protection to the online environment and try to push platforms into removing all junk food ads.
By mobilizing themselves, parents worldwide could eliminate one of the biggest contributing cause of childhood obesity.
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