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Is Advertising Making Us Fat?

Posted on: by Charlene Giovanelli

Does advertising of food and packaging influence your buying patterns and diet?

We are bombarded on a daily basis by advertising, enticing us as consumers to buy the new and latest products.

If a certain food product is presented in an eye-catching packaging does this make you buy the product?

It’s very difficult for all of us to eat healthy especially if we are being enticed everywhere we go. There was a debate on BBC this week, discussing the worldwide epidemic of obesity and the food industry’s role in contributing to obesity.

The World Health Organisation has cautioned the industry from putting cartoons on packaging to entice children to buy unhealthy products, as this can contribute to the rise in obesity. Other topics that were discussed, was the labelling of food. Does food labelling need to become simple and easier to understand, so that we as consumers are able to make an informed decision on purchasing the food item?

It takes a lot of will power and discipline to ignore the advertising and to buy the healthier food option. We have all been at the till, paying for our groceries and then we grab a slab of chocolate – that’s impulse buying. I personally think that at all the tills; the sweets and chocolate should be removed and be replaced with nuts, dried fruit, fruits and vegetables. This will hopefully ensure that impulse buying will be on healthier options than junk food.

To fight obesity is going to take a collective effort from the industry as well as us, as consumers. We need to educate ourselves on what are healthy options and not be influenced by advertising.

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Got something to say?

  • poiul

    I think that you are making fat yourself.Ryan Deiss has an exceptional way of showing you how advertising works into your brain and how publicity takes over those products that are making you fat.Stop blaming the wrong people and re-think the way that you are eating for God’s sake.

  • Melissa T

    This is a delicate issue, because advertising is the heart of capitalism, and each of us is exposed daily to hundreds of tv ads, billboards, print ads, cpa advertising, youtube ads, and the list could go on. I don’t think advertising is making anybody fat, it’s compulsive eating of junk food that does that to you, and ads only encourage the drives to indulge in a guilty pleasure. It’s really a matter of self-control since anyone knows how unhealthy junk food is, so instead of suing McDonalds and whine about how their ads made us obese, I say we cut down on the junk food and exercise every once in a while instead.

  • Yols

    As a student I find myself making unhealthy food choices,not just because of advertising gimmicks,but also because nowadays it’s so difficult to find something healthy that still fits into your budget…especially as a student. This then leaves me to decide between quality or quantity? At the end of the day quantity wins,because starvation diets are ineffective and make you gain even more! Maybe I just don’t know where to shop?

    Yolandi van Tonder,
    Cape Town

  • Jenna G

    The ideal situation would be to have a ‘healthy’ aisle and a ‘junk food’ aisle. I’m sure that would help with the label-reading problem.

    I must agree, however, that advertising plays a key role in what we buy and that our perceptions of ‘healthy’ food is skewed when something is advertised as healthy and actually isn’t. Many products that are in fact unhealthy for you have a reputation to be just the oppostite. But that is unfortunately the world we live in. Marketing companies do their research well and know what attracts their customers so it is doubtful that this is going to change. We can only educate the public on what to look out for and hope for the best.

  • Dollie

    I bet it does. I instantly get hungry when I watch those tasty foods commercials. Even worse are the ones with beverages. Of course, that’s the point, to buy those products, because this is how marketing works. You need to know how to sell an item, and I’m telling you, unless you’re Perry Belcher this is not an easy thing to do.

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  • lindis

    I love Roland and Boss products! I`m so sad that I lost such an opportunity. Buying the best what’s right for me products ever with 10% discount? Where and when I`ll see this thing again? I wonder if the discount will be available this year.