Recent studies have discovered that fast food ads promoting healthy alternatives are confusing children, making them ineffective. Brooklyn Pediatrician Dr. Michael Gabriel offers his perspective on children’s health as it relates to fast food
Brooklyn, NY / myprgenie.com / ACCESSWIRE / May 9, 2014 / Dr. Michael Gabriel discusses fast food advertising to children in response to an article posted on Redorbit.com that gave information related to a study conducted that concluded many children are confused by fast food ads promoting healthy alternatives.
According to the article, researchers focused on 99 children ages 7 to 9 and showed them ads from various fast food establishments that were promoting apples and milk in kids’ meals. They looked at ads from 2010 and 2011 and children were asked to identify certain items in a freeze frame. The researchers want the results of the study to reach the FDA and FTC in hopes that the advertising is altered.
The study concluded that children were confused by what Burger King calls “Fresh Apple Fries”, mistaking them for actual French fries. In addition, of the four healthy food options examined, McDonald’s had been the only chain in which the majority (52%) of the children identified apple products as an actual apple, rather than a french fry, etc. Overall, one-half to one-third of children were confused by the ads that were shown to them and could not properly identify healthy options.
Dr. Michael Gabriel of GPM Pediatrics, a New York City Pediatric Center, comments on this study by saying that advertisements need to change. “Fast food is one of the major causes of childhood obesity and abusing it can have lifelong effects.” Gabriel explains that fast food is a cause of high cholesterol in children as they head into adulthood. “Having healthy options is great for fast food places because it’s a quick easy meal for busy parents and kids can still eat healthy. However, if children cannot identify the alternatives, it is nearly pointless.”
Dr. Gabriel offers some advice for parents and hopes that the FDA and FTC get involved in a closer monitoring of advertising to children. “Parents can explain to their children that having fast food is a treat for them. While it is okay to have it in moderation, you don’t want your kids to get in the habit of always having fast food, even with healthy alternatives. We are moving in the right direction with apple and milk options, it’s just a matter of getting that message across to children.”
GPM Pediatrics provides comprehensive pediatric care to children throughout the New York area with practices both in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Our board certified pediatricians and experienced staff help provide a very warm and nurturing environment for both you and your children. Our approach combines the latest treatment methods with the personal attention you should expect from your doctor. Simply put, we understand the importance of communication and trust and we are earning that trust one family at a time.
Contact: Scott Darrohn, Takara@fishbat.com, 855-347-4228
SOURCE: GPM Pediatrics