Is Junk Food Marketing Causing Obesity?


Advertising of junk food totals $4.2 Billion annually. From a public health perspective, you have to ask if this is having an adverse effect on our health. For example, if we found that advertising made us sick, should we do anything about it? After all, you won’t see cigarette ads on public TV.

Disney recently set food advertising standards. If foods are too high in salt, fat or added sugar, Disney won’t allow ads to show on their networks. Does this make sense? Likely yes.

As it turns out, food ads may play a huge role in obesity. A new German research study demonstrates that looking at pictures of salty or sweet foods (such as Viennese Schnitzel, ice cream or pizza) causes an increase in grehlin, a hunger hormone. Pictures of pianos, bikes or shoes did not have the same effect. This is the first time pictures of junk food pictures have been shown to cause immediate adversity. So we should take notice!

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