Advertising and its Effects on Young Children
Advertising is everywhere – on television, on the radio, and in our neighborhoods. And it plays a big role in influencing children’s young minds. Just ask any parent if they’ve heard their child singing a fast-food jingle or asking for a toy she saw on TV.
These ads disproportionately sell the kinds of unhealthy foods that contribute to childhood obesity. On such an uneven playing field, what’s a parent to do?
Recently, parents in East L.A. attended a Best Start workshop on “Advertising and its Effects on Young Children.” The workshop, held on November 30 at the YWCA in East L.A., included presentations on how to understand advertising as a form of communications and how to use that knowledge to make informed choices as a parent of young children.
The training covered a basic glossary of advertising terms and recognizable examples of different types of ads. Parents later took part in a group activity to help identify the goals, target audiences, messages, and calls to action as they relate to TV commercials aimed at their children.
Parents also learned about work already in progress in the East L.A. community — from a Halloween-themed “Vegetarian Zombies” campaign to a coalition of UCLA and USC and local nonprofits engaged in campaigns to raise awareness of healthy eating choices for parents and children.
To learn more about becoming a change-agent for children’s healthier eating habits, check out some of the organizations that work in this field:
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