Junk Food Commercials Targeting Hispanic Children, Study Shows


Research at the University of Arizona shows that 84 percent of advertisements during children’s Spanish language television shows are for junk food, NBCLatino reports.

Dr. Dale Kunkel, who conducted the research, found that most of the unhealthy advertisements were for fast food. Forbes reports that advertisements lure children to their establishments by using popular television characters like Spongebob Squarepants. 
Xavier Morales, executive director of Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, explains that the parents of Hispanic children who both work full time end up watching more television, according to a report from Forbes.
“Television is the only supervision available,” Morales said. “They become a captive audience for food marketers.”
These messages encourage children to turn to unhealthy foods that are high in sugars and fats.

“We use the department of Health and Human Services food rating scheme to evaluate the foods. We find that the foods the industry labels as healthy, that three quarters of them fall into the poorest nutritional category according to the federal government,” Kunkle said.

Rep Aaron Shock (R-Ill) has recently proposed a bill called Stopping Taxpayers Outlook for Propaganda, or STOP, that would prevent the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention from stopping these negative nutrition messages, Forbes reported. 

White children have a much lower obesity rate than Mexican-American children and television advertisements could play a role in these statistics. The rate is 27 percent higher for Mexican-American boys and 17 percent among girls.

The American Diabetes Association has found that Type 2 Diabetes is becoming a fast growing condition within this demographic as well.
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