Fast food companies are breaking their own pledges about how they advertise to kids
Pacific Standard - 03/09/2015
Have McDonald’s and Burger King lived up to their promise? Not at all, argues a new study, published last week in the journal PLoS One. A team of researchers from Dartmouth University’s medical school and Northeastern University’s law school analyzed Burger King and McDonald’s TV ads that aired over a year between 2009 and 2010. They showed randomly selected ads to 100 children aged three to seven. All of the ads contained at least some healthy food item, such as apples and milk. But that didn’t really matter. When researchers asked the kids what they remembered about the ads, the children didn’t remember any food as often as two-thirds of the time. At the same time, about half the children remembered characters and toys. When the kids did remember food, they were more likely to recall seeing unhealthy foods than healthy ones. So much for “clearly secondary” tie-in messaging.