happy meal

Most of us know that foods heavy in calories and laden with sugars and fats are not good for our health. (And remember: healthy side options at fast food restaurants don’t equate to healthy meals either.)

Grown adults should be fully capable of deciding for themselves what to put in their bodies despite the bombardment of ads for unhealthy and sometimes down-right nasty foods.

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But what about children and even, teenagers? Sure, they may choose to eat healthy on their own or be prohibited from certain foods by their parents or guardians. Yet no matter how much precaution is taken at home, advertisements will always be there and even in the sneakiest spots like a company-sponsored textbook or program in schools.

Children and young adults are particularly susceptible to food industry advertising, which often emphasizes giveaways and fun over the food itself. Since ad exposure usually begins at a young age, brand loyalty and cravings for sugary and fatty foods can develop early on and increase in strength over time. What also increases is a child’s risk for developing diseases like diabetes and heart disease as well as mental health issues.

These topics and more are explored in a new short film by Anne Lappé and Food Mythbusters. Together, they show viewers how the food industry is targeting children and influencing them to crave junk food. After watching the video below, you can take action on the Food Mythbuster website by telling McDonald’s to end predatory marketing to children and the sale of Happy Meals.

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Image source: Cosmic Kitty / Flickr