Targeting Children With Treats
American children spend 44-5 hours a week watching television and are exposed to up to 30,155 TV ads a year! 50% of these ads are for candy, snacks, sugary cereal and fast food, so it's no surprise that Americans spend nearly $6.5
billion on holiday candy every year and 1/3 of American children are overweight or obese. The infographic below illustrates our children's consumption of media, advertising and treats, and the troubling results.
Daily media consumption
- 4.5 hours in front of the TV.
- 1.5 hours on the computer.
- 2.5 hours listening to music.
- Over 1 hour playing video games.
- 38 minutes reading.
- Age 2 to 7: 1) 13.906 ads annually; 2) 12 food ads a day.
- Ages 8 to 12: 1) 30.155 ads annually; 2) 21 food ads a day.
- Ages 13 to 17: 1) 28.655 ads annually; 2) 17 food ads a day.
- 50% of all ad time on children's shows is for food.
- Types of ads aimed at children under 12: 1) Candy and snacks - 33%; 2) Cereal - 28%; 3) Fast food - 10%; 4) Other - 29%.
- American children now eat an average of 3 snacks a day between meals.
- On average, teens eat 34 teaspoons of sugar every day.
- Amount spent on holiday candy year in America: 1) Valentine's Day - $1 billion; 2) Christmas - $1.4 billion; 3) Easter - $1.9 billion; 4) Halloween - $2 billion.
- 1 in 3 American children is overweight or obese.
- Childhood obesity has become parents' number one health concern - ahead of smoking and drug abuse. They consider TV ads promoting junk food to be a big part of the problem.
- Youngsters who are already overweight are even more susceptible to junk food ads and will increase consumption by 134%.
- 50% of overweight children remain overweight as adults.
- $51 million - government spending on marketing healthy eating and exercise to kids.
- $1.6 billion - food industry spending on ads promoting foods high in calories and low in nutrition to kids.
What is being done
- Children's food and beverage advertising initiative. Urged by the Better Business Bureau, leading food and beverage companies committed to limiting which foods they advertise to kids under 12.
- FTC Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children. The federal Trade Commission proposed marketing standards to restrict advertising to kids younger than 6.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics called for a ban of all junk food ads during children's programming.
Teach - Make A Difference | Sources: Gallo AE: Food Advertising in the United States; www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/business/18food; www.infoplease.com/spot/eastercandy; www.bbb.org; www.teach.com; In the Matter of
Children's Advertising: FTC Final Staff; Report and Recommendation; www.apa.org/topics/kids-media/food; www.businessweek.com; www.vcanews.com.