Lesson 3.5: Food advertising
Background: In 2009, the fast food industry alone spent $4.2 billion on advertising through all media. Based on the 2010 Nielsen ratings, Latino children and youth (2-17 years) in the US viewed up to 12 food ads per day, most of which were for fast food restaurants. Online advertising targets children through games and cartoon characters, encouraging them to ask their parents to buy the foods. Exposure to such food advertising often does result in child requests for those foods and when parents act on those requests, greater consumption of snack and fast foods among children. Parents should also discuss advertising messages with their children and help them see that ads are just trying to sell products.
Teaching Tip: If it is not feasible to have a food ad scavenger hunt, simply ask families to recall all the places where they encounter food ads. An alternative activity to the role playing exercise can be to ask the parents--and children if they are present-- to draw their own advertisements for healthy foods.
Target Audience: Latino families with children ages 3 to 8 years
Key Message: Be wary of food advertising: make healthy food and beverage choices.
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:
1) Identify messages in ads and how they influence our food choices
2) Identify ways to handle child requests for advertised foods without buying the food
Materials: dollar bill, items with advertisements, paper and pencils, food and other supplies for food demonstration (suggested Sweet Potato Fries)
Click here to download lesson plan Lesson 3.5 Foodadvertising (English lesson)
Council on Communications and Media (2011) Children, adolescents, obesity and the media American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy statement