I know we talk a lot about the effect of our eating habits on our general health, what we don’t mention is the effect television and advertising have had on our eating habits. Until the advent of television, people simply ate what was available in their locality for them to eat. Thanks to television, the demand for a product meant that the grocery had to find the product and have it delivered to his location. But it happened, and continues to happen today.
All day long, adults and children are bombarded with television, radio, newspaper, and billboard advertising that will affect what they choose to eat, when they choose to eat, and how they choose to eat. Good eating habits are difficult to find, and even harder to instill in our children.
Thanks to Saturday morning cartoons, and all those cereal commercials, we have a whole generation of children who grew up on cereal and pop-tarts. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think it’s bad to eat those things, but when you restrict your diet to only those kinds of food, it is bad.
The effect of advertising on our eating habits is such big business, that companies spend billions on advertising budgets each year. If you are one of the lucky ones to hit upon the “catchy” idea of the month, you are quite a bit richer at the end of the journey. This is a concept many people don’t seem to understand. Those companies aren’t doing that advertising because they’re concerned with your health. They’re doing it because they’re concerned with making a profit.
Consider the Super bowl games every year. Companies spend billions of dollars for the opportunity to advertise with a 30-second spot. But you know what they stand to gain? Increased sales for an entire year, because the vast majority of America watches the Super bowl; they also see the commercials. It’s a huge game of hit or miss, but if you hit, you’re a major winner.
The cereal industry is one of the major players in the advertising game. When it comes to influencing our eating habits, everyone should take lessons from Kellogg. Another big player used to be Campbell’s soups. Today we have so many vying for the piece of the food pie, that it’s hard to name a super advertiser.
When do the advertisers attempt to reach the consumer? The prime time for advertising is during what’s called prime time viewing. From around 6pm until 10pm each and every night, most of America is in front of their television set, and tuned into the latest hit TV show. They’re also tuned into the latest advertising influences.
Don’t misunderstand, it’s not just the food advertisers that do this to consumers, every car manufacturer in the world uses the same advertising principles to sell huge volumes of cars. Beer companies the world over have advertised and made millions appealing to the consumers sense of “cool”.
Who suffers? The consumers who are not educated with the knowledge of the real facts that affect their health are the real losers in the advertising game. Most of the time, it is our young audience that pays the highest price, for they are the least knowledgeable. This is a huge contributor to the obesity issues faces our young people today.