Media's Negative Effects On The Relationship Between Food And Advertising

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Advertisements affect the American public through celebrity endorsement, television commercials, and news articles in the media, and can also influence dietary decisions. The social changes and updates in technology display the rapid changes in what is currently popular to eat. A randomized control trial funded by The Financial Markets Foundation for Children, a nonprofit committed to improving the welfare of children, found that everytime a child was exposed to a product in a commercial, the likelihood of their preference of that product increased (Dixon). This relationship between food and advertisements has proven to be detrimental over time. For example, a thorough analysis from BioMed Central comparing articles from The New York Times, …show more content…
According to a systematic study conducted by the National Institute of Health, a tax targeting unhealthy food could reduce obesity by 5-7% (Harkin). Arguments to imposing such a tax include concerns for the determination of an appropriate tax percentage, how the tax would be implemented, and what would be done with the money accrued from the tax. Taxes lower than 10% on junk food have shown no dramatic decrease in product consumption, but higher taxes place a strain on the lower class, who depend on affordable food to eat (Thow 563). This dilemma is circumvented by taxing products or materials that would least affect the consumer market in low-income areas. A viable option is the taxation on the manufacturers of junk food and the raw materials contributing to obesity within their products, such as sugar, fat, or salt. Manufacturers argue that this tax would create either a loss of profit or increased prices, creating a loss of customers, resulting in a negative outcome. However, they could also choose to reformulate their products to be under the taxable limit, keeping cost low to consumers while limiting the amount of unhealthy additives on the market. Economist Dr. Marron, author of Should We Tax Unhealthy Foods and Drinks?, brings up a valid point when he stated that one tax cannot encompass all junk food (Marron 12). Even if all junk food is taxed, the …show more content…
With that being said, there is still strong support for this solution and its ability to decrease the causes of obesity because it is done at different levels of consumerism and targets different motivations that lead to obesity. By imposing a tax on manufacturers, they are pressured to reformulate their products to decrease the amount of obesity-contributing ingredients. The introduction of subsidies on nutritionally dense produce will increase the production of these vegetables and integrate them into areas where they are normally sparse. The subsidies will also put them at a price point that is appealing to all consumers, including those who would previously not buy produce, considering they were not readily available at affordable prices. While these changes would have some impact, giving the public knowledge of these changes and why they are necessary gives them a greater impact. By contributing more resources to advertising and educating the public, people would become more aware in making intentional decisions that are targeted to improving their health. Overall, a junk food tax is needed to control the fast food industry, help push people to make better nutritional choices, provide aid to the nation’s growing national debt,

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