In this era of globalization and busy life, fast food has become a helping hand to overcome hunger and save the valuable time. Fast food is a kind of mass-produced food, which is prepared as well as served quickly (Harris, J. L., Sarda, V., Schwartz, M. B., & Brownell, K. D. 2013). It is comparatively less nutritious in comparison to the other foods. The children are easily attracted to fast food and most of them do not like home- made food. The fast food poses an unhealthy impact on the health of the children as it contains high amounts of cholesterol.
The children who consume fast food on a regular basis are more prone to develop obesity and have more risk to encounter cardiovascular diseases. Now days, the fast foods are advertised through television and social media and thus as a result the children of all the age groups are vulnerable to consume fast food.
In Australia, the children watch television almost 4-5 hours a day. During this time, they are exposed to 40 minutes of advertisements every day. The advertising of food accounts for half of all the time of advertisements in the television programs that are meant for children. By watching the advertisements of fast food, they are easily influenced and ask their parents to buy them the fast food.
It is important to restrict the advertisements of fast food as it is posing a severe threat to the children. The government should make specific policies regarding the advertisements of fast food in the television and other platforms through which the children are associated.
The advocates of child health should propose a range of health tools that will protect the children from the advertisements of fast food. They should include health, industry advertising and media literacy education for promoting the consumption of healthy foods through the media. The parents also need to educate their children regarding the harmful effects of fast food on their health. If the advertisements of the fast food to the children will continue in the same manner and pace, it will lead in increasing the number of obesity and cardiovascular diseases in children in the future.
A child consuming Fast food in Australia
Letter to a politician
Mr. P Abetz MLA PO Box 441
Gosnells WA 6110
Dear Mr. Abetz
I am writing this letter as a constituent of the Southern River electorate to put across my concern regarding the the restriction of advertising of a fast food to children and the issues that are related with the unhealthy effects of fast food on the health of the children.
I believe, you are aware that the rates of obesity and cardiovascular diseases among the children of Australia are too high. A survey has been conducted in our area, the results of the survey revealed the prevalence of obesity, and overweight amongst the children living in this area is 24% in male children and 17% in female children. Besides this, the survey of child physical activity in the previous year found that around 35% of children in this region are not satisfactory with respect to good health conditions.
While this is an alarming issue all over the state as well as country, there are different ways by means of which we all can start to deal with them in this area by having your support. The advocates of child health can propose a range of health tools that will protect the children from the advertisements of fast food. They can include health, industry advertising and media literacy education for promoting the consumption of healthy foods through the media. I seek your commitment for introducing and supporting the advocates of health for the health promotion of children.
It has become evident that the existing health conditions of a majority of children are vulnerable towards obesity and cardiovascular diseases. I have heard the stories of several children who have lost their lives and who are not able to play outside as they are obese and suffer from cardiovascular disease. I seek your commitment to construct specific rules and regulations, which will restrict the advertisements of a fast food to the children.
I strongly believe the significance of child health and promotion of physical activities in this community. As the chosen representative of this community, I expect that you would also consider the health and safety of the children of your constituents and in the utmost regard, you would open some ways of restricting advertising of fast food to the children so as to maximise the health and wellbeing of the children of your constituents.
I am thankful for your time. I am looking forward for your consideration regarding this issue. I will also look forward to receive your kind reply.
Bernhardt, A. M., Wilking, C., Gottlieb, M., Emond, J., & Sargent, J. D. (2014). Children’s reaction to depictions of healthy foods in fast-food television advertisements. JAMA pediatrics, 168(5), 422-426.
Boyland, E. J., & Halford, J. C. (2013). Television advertising and branding. Effects on eating behaviour and food preferences in children. Appetite, 62, 236-241.
Galbraith?€ђEmami, S., & Lobstein, T. (2013). The impact of initiatives to limit the advertising of food and beverage products to children: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 14(12), 960-974.
Harris, J. L., Sarda, V., Schwartz, M. B., & Brownell, K. D. (2013). Redefining “child-directed advertising” to reduce unhealthy television food advertising. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(4), 358-364.
Kelly, B., Hebden, L., King, L., Xiao, Y., Yu, Y., He, G., ... & Hoe, N. S. (2014). Children's exposure to food advertising on free-to-air television: an Asia-Pacific perspective. Health promotion international, dau055.
Pettigrew, S., Pescud, M., Rosenberg, M., Ferguson, R., & Houghton, S. (2012). Public support for restrictions on fast food company sponsorship of community events. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 21(4), 609-617.