Marketing vs. Mom’s Cooking

by Chris Carroll | Illustration by Matt Laumann

What children find finger lickin’ good might just depend on the ads they see.

Those in lower- and middle-income countries who can ID international fast food and soft drink logos are more likely to turn up their noses at healthier, home-cooked fare, according to University of Maryland research.

Lead study author Dina Borzekowski, a research professor of behavioral and community health, investigated the links between marketing, media exposure and food preferences in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia. Previous research in richer countries shows similar links between junk food marketing and unhealthy eating.

The findings published in the Journal of Children and Media show the pervasive, insidious influence of marketing on children’s health, Borzekowski says.

“Why would a 5-year-old say that they want a Coca-Cola over a lassi?” she says. “Kentucky Fried Chicken over a stir-fried chicken and vegetable dish made by Mom?”


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