Not So “Happy Meals”
Throughout the United States there are over 23 million overweight and obese children and adolescents (Green et al). Obviously obesity has become the nation’s newest epidemic. “Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat, and exists when total body weight is more than 25 percent in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls” (Green et al) This is an alarming amount of unhealthy youth. Actually, rates have become so high that the government is considering implementing stricter nutritional guidelines on the restaurant industry in hopes of providing healthier meals to the public, specifically to meals aimed for children. However, new nutritional standards are not the main issue when it comes to food consumption. In fact the newest course of action is pursuing the advertising of the fast-food world because agencies are pairing toys with meals to make them more appealing to children. Due to the fact that the combining of toys with fast food meals is completely unethical, the government should regulate the consumption of fast food meals because it causes unhealthy eating habits.
Since kids are very impressionable, Fast Food companies are pairing toys with their unhealthy greasy meals as part of their marketing premium. Let’s face it, Fast Food ads are everywhere. They are shoved in our faces in many different ways. Our streets are lined with billboards, posters, and huge elaborate signs tempting us where ever we turn. And let’s not forget all the TV and radio commercials we are bombarded with each day. In fact according to the article “Food Advertising and Marketing Directed at Children in the U.S.”, the United States food system is the second largest advertiser in the American economy (Story and French). Sub sequentially it was estimated in 1999 that advertising expenses had reached around $ 7.3 billion (Story and French). That is an enormous amount of money and advertising has only grown since then.