Food Policy

Does Fast Food Marketing Make Kids Fat?

A new study trumpets a dubious link between obese youngsters and the logos of food companies.


Kids recognize the McDonald's logo better than they do the FedEx logo. Kids are slightly more drawn to the former than to the latter. Obese kids are more drawn to the former latter than are healthy weight kids. These results are not patently obvious and have important policy implications.

These are some of the conclusions reached by researchers at the University of Missouri, Kansas City's B.R.A.I.N. Lab

A new study by researchers based at the lab argues that the brains of obese youngsters are wired to respond to the logos of food companies.

"When showed images of fast food companies, the parts of the brain that control pleasure and appetite lit up," writes Makini Brice in a summary of the research at Medical Daily. "The brains did not do the same when showed images from companies not associated with food," including BMW and FedEx.

The authors bill their research, published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN), as "the first study to examine children's brain responses to culturally familiar food and nonfood logos."

The researchers claim kids rate logos of food companies like McDonald's more "exciting" and "happier" than logos of non-food companies like BMW. 

"Food logos," they conclude in SCAN, "seem to be more emotionally salient than the nonfood logos, perhaps due to the survival salience of food as a biological necessity."

While that finding seems unremarkable, and—I would argue—appears to merit a similarly routine conclusion along the lines of Well, yes of course, the authors see the need for policies to combat this trend.


The first clue is the research interests of the lead author, research assistant professor of psychology Amanda Bruce, Ph.D., who specializes in the "neuroimaging of obesity."

And, as the authors write in SCAN, "some experts have cited food marketing as one of the contributors to the recent rise in childhood obesity."

But the most obvious calls for policy changes come from Prof. Bruce herself.

"Ultimately, my down-the-road goal is to see if we can help people improve their self-control and make healthier decisions," Bruce tells the Toronto Star. "Because kids are limited by their underdeveloped brains, however," reports the Star, "that goal would mean asking: 'How moral or ethical is it to advertise to children?'"

The study's conclusions are "concerning, because the majority of foods marketed to children are unhealthy, calorifically dense foods high in sugars, fat and sodium," Bruce tells L.A. Times business writer David Lazarus, who took the handoff from Bruce and kept running in the same direction.

"Does that mean we should have curbs on junk-food ads, just as there are limits for cigarette and alcohol ads?" Lazarus asks. "I say yes. But I'll save the free-speech debate for another day."

While I don't find the SCAN study itself concerning—again, I think it would be stunning if the typical 12-year-old's brain showed more response to a BMW or FedEx logo than to a McDonald's logo—it's probably no surprise that I do find these policy implications inapt. And unlike Lazarus, I won't save the First Amendment implications of the policy he suggests for another day. They're unconstitutional.

Interestingly, some research that would appear to counter arguments about the particular nefariousness of food advertising and logos comes from a 2010 study by some of the same authors as the SCAN study (including lead author Bruce).

That research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that obese children are "hyper-responsive to food stimuli as compared with [healthy weight] children." It also concludes "that many areas implicated in normal food motivation are hyper-responsive in obese groups."

In other words, obese people are probably more likely than is the average person to respond to food imagery writ large—from McDonald's logos to unbranded cheeseburger photos, and from Gogurt ads to Pinterest donut porn.

So it's not food logos (or ads) that's the problem. Kids eat what their families feed them. In spite of the arguments of Bruce, Lazarus, and others, policy change in this area should begin—and end—at home.

NEXT: Nothing Left to Cut: Italian Anti-Sandwich Patrols

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  1. I call bullshit.

    My kid was hyperlexic and a pattern recognition freak, so his logo identification skills were so exaggerated that it was easy to “study” them on an amateur basis. And although he would remember any logo after seeing it once, he liked logos that included letters more than others, probably because it had a recognizable pattern within a pattern.

    So he would recognize both the Honda and Toyota logos, but like the Honda logo more, because it has an H in it.

    McDonald’s has the best logo for this effect, because it’s just an M on a red background. Hard to beat that.

    The FedEx logo isn’t even a logo at all. It’s a word.

    So if you test young kids, of course they’re going to prefer the logo that’s a big yellow M to logos that are full words, or logos that are abstract symbols they see less often than they see the letter M.

    This study is even BIGGER bullshit, because they tested kids who were 10-14. In other words, kids who no doubt would have been to McDonald’s many times and enjoyed it, but who have almost certainly never, ever used FedEx. Why in the flying fuck could they possibly be expected to not react better to the logos for products they’ve actually used than for products they have no experience with? It would be like scanning my brain to see if I react more positively to the Mercedes symbol than I do to the logo of The Assrape Store.

    1. The FedEx logo isn’t even a logo at all. It’s a word.

      No, it’s a logo. Find the hidden arrow.

      1. I never saw it before.

        I feel so…violated.

        1. Just wait until you actually shop there.

          Oh, you meant FedEx, not the Assrape Store. My bad.

      2. The arrow isn’t hidden if its in plain sight.

    2. The FedEx logo isn’t even a logo at all. It’s a word.

      But it uses negative space to create an arrow. Marketers and gaphic designers know that kids love negative space.

      1. Especially the negative space left on their McDonald’s wrappers. /sarc

      2. I can assure you that I possess some credible authority on typography and graphics. I can assure you that a word can most definitely be a kind of logo. Arrow or not, the FedEx logo is a logo also because of its stylization, color schemes, and consideration for how the logo is applied.

    3. I wonder what portion of the commentariat has more experience with Mercedes than Assrape.

    4. It would be like scanning my brain to see if I react more positively to the Mercedes symbol than I do to the logo of The Assrape Store.

      You react more positively to the Assrape Store, correct?

    5. A McDonald’s in reasonable driving distance has a great little mini ride park attached to it. My kid begs anytime he notices I have freed up time to take him there. I can’t blame him. He is now strong enough to climb up the ladders and belly flop the slides.

    6. Fluffy, do you realize that McDonalds wasn’t the ONLY fast food company in the study? If McDonalds had that effect, while other food logos didn’t, you might have a point. But McDonalds wasn’t the only logo they responded to that way.

      1. You mean they actually preferred the Fedex logo to KFC?

      2. This is a deliberate conflation of causation and correlation.

        It’s not that fast food companies have sekrit evil brain research that they used to design their logos in such a way as to addict kids to fast food.

        What actually happened was the study looked at kids who were old enough to have been out to fast food many times, that these kids LIKE fast food (shock!), and thus they have pleasurable associations with logo.

        The kids like the fast food, that’s why they remember the logo. It’s not the other around. A moment’s thought is sufficient.

        If they’d tested the brains of kids who were not old enough to make the association, they might have something.

        1. thus they have pleasurable associations with logo.

          Well, duh. They’re going to get more “pleasurable associations” from food logos than from other kinds. That’s the whole conclusion from the study. I didn’t say otherwise.

  2. I don’t think fat kids are any more drawn to McDonalds than skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks…even kids with chicken pox. Kids are just drawn to McDonalds because it’s tasty, fun food.

    1. This is almost Suessian.

  3. Duh! Of course it does! McDonalds sells JUNK FOOD that is good for nothing BUT making one FAT. I mean think about it.

    1. I think you should really think about that statement. By your reasoning McDonald’s food has no nutritional value whatsoever – no protein, no carbohydrates, no fat, and no vitamins or minerals – all of which have nutritional value. Clearly this is not the case as McDonald’s food is actually packed with plenty of “nutrition” – that is unless you want to start narrowly defining for everyone what nutrition is and what it means. Junk Food is one of those terms thrown around that confuse the issue – which policy makers love to do. McDonald’s food is good for A LOT of things besides making someone fat. You could also say the only thing bread is good for is making one fat. I’m sure those living in Soviet Russia would have disagreed. McDonalds has only gotten a bad rap because we, in this country, have an overabundance of food. That is not McDonald’s fault, and to off-handedly refer to their food as “junk food” is dishonest. You could make the same argument over fruit as fruit is high in sugar. If someone were to take in the calories they do at McDonalds in fruit calories they would be fat as well and then maybe we could call fruit Junk Food. The study in this article is biased by a bunch of know-nothing “scientists” who base their research on preconceived notions, politically correct notions, and false notions. They’ve already reached a conclusion that McDonlads food is Junk Food (a notion you buy into) and then they proceed from there. There is no Junk Food. There is only food.

        1. Shhhh. He needs to learn on his own.

          1. There is something pretty satisfying about seeing a wall of text rebuttal to TiggyFoo.

      1. Uh, spec24, the purple elf in your head needs his meds…okay, now that you’ve taken them, notice that the comment you made has no connection to mine.

        1. The post he originally replied to was our famous Anonbot poster – so that entire reply thread got shifted to your comment.

          But this might be the first time I’ve seen an Anonbot post get whacked.

          1. Anonbot was becoming sentient. The Mods whacked it to prevent it from developing SkyNet and taking over the world.

      2. No, there’s a lot of junk food, actually. There is a lot more to nutrition than macronutrients.

        1. No, there’s a lot of junk food, actually.

          It’s all in Michelle Obama’s mouth.

  4. “Does that mean we should have curbs on junk-food ads, just as there are limits for cigarette and alcohol ads?” Lazarus asks. “I say yes. But I’ll save the free-speech debate for another day.”

    I’m sure you would. But let’s have that debate today and worry about the fatties tomorrow. K?

    1. Does that mean we should have curbs on studies about junk-food ads? I say yes. But I’ll save the taxpayer-fleecing debate for another day.

    2. Isn’t the term “free-speech debate” an oxymoron? Why isn’t this pointed out to food Nazis and anybody else that wanted to curb our 1A Rights because they had a pet cause on a daily fucking basis.

      Debates on free speech always end up with less free speech. Never once, unless they occurred in the court system, did they result in speech restrictions being overturned…and their results are still a mixed bag.

    3. We should have the free speech debate today, and start by eliminating space for that asshat’s column

  5. Yeah, this study is stupid on many, many levels. If they are saying that it is the actual logo that makes the difference and fast food logos are qualitatively different, they should have compared logos from McDonald’s and Burger King with logos from similar fast-food chains in France and Australia that the kids have never seen. Somehow I think they’d have a different effect.

    Also, a recent study showed that neuroimaging studies are largely bunk – they imaged a dead salmon and got similar results to those from major studies purporting to show effects in people.

    Plus, I question their blinding procedures. If the people checking the data have any clue as to what the subjects are viewing when administering the test or analyzing the data, the whole thing is hokum.

    In summary, I doubt they really measured anything, but such that they did, they measured the fact that kids are able to tell “I get food where they have this logo” from “the place represented by this logo has no relevance to me at all”. Well, whoop-de-frikin’-do.

    1. … they imaged a dead salmon and got similar results…

      Mmmmmmmmm… dead salmon. I’m hungry.

      /fat kid

    2. Or how ’bout seeing how the kids react to logos from toy companies in comparison to those logos of other industries. It may have nothing to do with food. Of course, without seeing hte actual study it’s hard to second guess them. We can be certain of a few things, though: they are biased, and they think their research is so fantastic that it should influence public policy.

  6. Off to take the LSAT. Wish me luck!

    1. Good luck!

    2. Good Luck. And it’s about time. I’ve had nobody to drink with when I go to Long Beach for a couple of months now, asshole. I hope it was worth it.

  7. Kids recognize the McDonald’s logo better than they do the FedEx logo. Kids are slightly more drawn to the former than to the latter. Obese kids are more drawn to the latter than are healthy weight kids

    — presumably because they think FedEx can bring them McDonald’s food.

    I believe you mean “Obese kids are more drawn to the *former*”, Baylen.

    1. Yeah, I read the rest of the article twice to see the expanation for that.

  8. Parents who take their children to McDonald’s should be charged with Child Abuse. Family Services should sit in the parking lot ready to take the kids out of such dangerous families.

    1. I certainly think such a policy would help spark the Great Purge of Polanny State Asswipes. So I’m going to come in support.

  9. Kids recognize the McDonald’s logo better than they do the FedEx logo.

    Is this supposed to be shocking?

    Why would kids recognize the FedEx logo at all?

    1. Add the fact that kids who demonstrably like to eat recognize a food company’s logo more than of a shipping.
      Uh, I hope we didn’t waste a lot of money establishing that.

      1. Yeah, maybe they only studied kids who did a lot of shipping…

        1. If they had a few kids who’d received lots of presents via FedEx, it would have really bitched up their little study.

    2. Why would kids recognize the FedEx logo at all?

      Fat kids might think the box contains food?

      I think they were trying to establish a baseline. What’s the point of investigating the effects of marketing on children if you can’t even prove that the marketing is effective?

      So, that’s first base. Is McDonald’s marketing effective? The correct answer is “yes”.

      1. That makes sense, but it’s not how the data is presented.

  10. “Kids eat what their families feed them.”

    This hits the nail on the head. Parents are responsible for what their children eat, and trying to evade parental responsibility by making McDonald’s responsible for what parents choose to feed their children isn’t the solution to anything–except eroding free speech.

    Unfortunately, trying to make companies responsible for their customers’ behavior is quite the trend. The idea that McDonald’s shouldn’t be free to market their food is the same as the idea that banks shouldn’t be free to market their home loans.

    Other people are not responsible for what we freely choose to do. When enough people successfully evade responsibility for what they chose to do, it necessarily translates into less freedom. Less personal responsibility translates into less personal freedom; more personal personal responsibility translates into more personal freedom. I don’t make the rules; I just point them out.

    Your fat kid isn’t other people’s fault, and if you attempt to evade responsibility for your own children, that translates into less freedom for other people–who were never responsible for your fat kid anyway.

  11. Our Judge Dread future draws near:…..merce-city

    Will there be an orientation on the seashells for first time users?

    1. Judge Dread?

      Want to try again?

      1. Doh! How could I screw that up so badly?

        1. Hopefully Picard will explain the seashells thing to us before Judge Dread and the other Sandmen catch us.

          1. Shoot me now.


      Okaaaay… I see plenty about the looks of the place… WiFi… Evidently Taco Bell thinks the food quality is irrelevant? Chipotle has an attractive, tasty product, good mouth feel, and simple to produce. Taco Bell’s ground beef is masticated beyond recognition and their sour cream is applied with a damned caulk gun.

      1. You uppity cunt. There is nothing that makes Chipotle superior to Taco Bell. They are both two different tastes of Latin American themed generic mass market American fast food. They both use pre prepared ingredients. They both, as well as restaurants and home kitchens everywhere in the world, use utensils and processes to make preparation more efficient. They both cause the consumer to shit the same blood stains in to their underwear. It is good to have them both around.

  12. Cutting off a policeman with his car cost a US Army National Guardsman his life. After getting pulled over by an angry cop Friday morning, the victim was shot to death by the detective while his hands were allegedly still on the steering wheel.
    The New York police detective, 39-year old Hassan Hamdy, fired one fatal bullet through the open car window of 22-year old Noel Polanco, who was declared dead within one hour of the shooting.
    Polanco was driving himself and two friends, one of which was an off-duty police officer, home after work around 5:15 a.m. After cutting off the cops in their unmarked car ? which the trio did not realize was a police car ? the three friends were harassed in what they described as “an act of road rage.”…..lanco-776/

    1. I posted that yesterday in the AM Links. Just an awful (and unbelievable) story. The cops are trying to cover up their overreaction. Too bad there’s only one eyewitness that wasn’t wearing a badge.

      Methinks they’ll use the old “furtive movement” defense for the shooter.

      This case belongs in front of a Grand Jury, not a collection of the cop’s co-workers.

  13. When will children learn to run and hide when they see a policeman?

    1. When people like us raise them all. I can assure you of one thing: mine know the cops are the last people they want to see when something is going wrong. And that 911 is a number you only want to dial as a last resort.

      1. Or before making an insurance claim.

  14. Advertising is mind control.

    1. Yeah, this is more mental masturbation for the Adbusters crowd. I always think back to New Coke – one of the largest, most sophisticated marketing powerhouses in the world, after in depth product studies with thousands of people, and a multi-million dollar ad campaign, cannot convince customers to accept a minor change in their product. Yet the morons think advertisers are able to brainwash people willy-nilly.

      1. Obviously because they had been brainwashed for years by Old Coke!

  15. Circle those OFFICER SAFETY wagons.

    Jeffrey D Self, commander of Customs and Border Protection’s Joint Field Command-Arizona, said investigators were making progress but noted that despite initial findings that the shootings appeared to have been accidental, it did not diminish the fact that Ivie “gave the ultimate sacrifice and died serving his country”.

    “The fact is the work of the Border Patrol is dangerous,” Self said, during a news conference in Tucson.

    If only we had trained that selfless and noble agent to identify her targets before emptying the magazine…

    1. This officer died voluntarily fighting an immoral drug war. Tough shit for his family, but as far as I’m concerned, he died doing something immoral.

      I only hope the taxpayers are not going to be financially liable to pay any legacy payments to this officer’s family.

      1. It’s Border Patrol. They deal with, you know, BORDERS. Are you perhaps thinking of the DEA?

        1. To be fair, drugs cross the border.

          1. True, but it’s not the main purpose of Border Patrol. Border control is. So saying “tough shit” about a Border Patrol agent, because he died “fighting an immoral drug war” is stupid.

            It also pretends that the people smuggling drugs aren’t the sort of people who MURDER people. Our government is at fault for the environment where criminals control the drug trade, but that doesn’t mean the drug smugglers are moral people. So it doesn’t follow that someone working Border Patrol who died, even if it was related to drugs, deserves scorn.

  16. obese children are “hyper-responsive to food stimuli as compared with [healthy weight] children.”

    What’s the deal with using “as” before “compared”? Is this some sort of British convention that Americans think sounds intelligent? It sounds awful and makes me wonder if the author’s first language is English.

    1. I don’t know.

      Maybe you should start a libertarian blog focused on grammar.

      …’cause I’m sure a lot of people would find that fascinating.

  17. Kansas City’s B.R.A.I.N. Lab.

    What the hell is wrong with you people? If ever there were TOP MEN, this is them. You have no right to question their wisdom.

    Seriously, when I read that…Kansas City’s B.R.A.I.N. Lab, I spit some dirty rice through my nose. Dammit, that hurt.

    1. Are you all geared up for the GayTors comoing to town today?

      Prediction: LSU 21 – GayTors 10

  18. Marketing can only work on people who have money. My kids could watch all the commercials in the world and still be unable to buy anything. They might become annoying whiny shitheads in the process, but they still wouldn’t be eating McDonald’s.

    1. On rainy days when my kids were small, McDonald’s was a source of salvation like no church ever hoped to be. Get them some McNuggets (usually what they wanted) and sit near the entrance to the PlayPlace with a good book and keep an eye on them through the glass. Did they eat? Kind of. Not really. They played their butts off. They probably would have made more money charging us a buck an hour per kid for use of the PlayPlace.

  19. Way back, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and no suit against the cigarette companies had ever succeeded, a change in the rules of evidence was proposed that would have obviated the need of the anti-smokers to actually demonstrate a known causal relationship between smoking and illness. And while the Powers That Be were mulling that one over, the cigarette companies said “If you let them do this to us, the next thing you know they will be trying to shut down McDonald’s”. And the intellectuals thought that was just the FUNNIEST bit of exaggeration, ever. They laughed and laughed?..

    Anti-smokers, Drug Warriors, Fast Food Nazis?they are all arguments in favor of the guillotine.

    1. Denying the likely results of some proposed policy seems to be a crucial ingredient to being a good Progressive.

      Has anyone ever heard a Progressive admit that there might be some negative results of ObamaCare–ever?

      Raising employment taxes is likely to have a negative impact on employment? That’s just a Koch brothers myth!

  20. When Ronald McDonald and the Grimace are putting guns to childrens heads and actually forcing them to eat their fatty food, come and see me again. Otherwise, to hell with anyone who has a problem with the way fast food establishment peddle their wares.

    1. Closest the kids come to being forced to eat crappy food is the school lunch program.

  21. One brand I want to keep far the fuck away from my kid.

    Hey, EPA, leave those kids alone!

  22. Once again, lets avoid all personal accountability and blame it on the middle-men. Blaming fast food for obesity is the equivalent of blaming liquor stores for alcoholism — sounds good but makes no genuine sense. Food is NOT love, food is NOT a form of familial bonding, food is NOT a substitute for genuine human connections like empathy and understanding and compassion. Food is NOT a hobby or something to be used as a cure-all for emotional upset. It’s just food, necessary to supply vital elements to the body.

    Yet this is a two-edged sword because society as a whole has been brainwashed to believe otherwise. Huge steaming gobs of food will make things a-okay, mmm, mmm! Marketers and Big Agro rule the airwaves to the point where certain programs and cartoons and programs are inextricably tied to food — like Pavlovs dogs.

    Don’t believe the hype.

    1. Obesity is not mental illness. It’s malnutrition. It’s even found in places where there’s no possibility of obtaining what the WHO considers the minimum necessary calories.

      1. Pound. Head. On. Desk.| 10.6.12 @ 8:42PM |#
        “Obesity is not mental illness. It’s malnutrition. It’s even found in places where there’s no possibility of obtaining what the WHO considers the minimum necessary calories.”

        No dispute, but it’s irrelevant. As is any government interest in who eats what.

        1. No dispute, but it’s irrelevant. As is any government interest in who eats what.

          Government interest in what people eat is worse than irrelevant. It’s part of the problem.

      2. How is that possible?

        1. It’s even found in places where there’s no possibility of obtaining what the WHO considers the minimum necessary calories.

          How is that possible?

          You, sir, have the heart of a scientist!

          Think of it as internal starvation. The fat is feeding itself at the expense of the rest of the body. Repeated glucose surges over-stuff the glycogen stores of the skeletal muscle cells, inciting insulin resistance in them (and similar cells). The common evolutionary response is to administer more insulin. Fat cells are slower to develop insulin resistance, and take in the excess glucose to clear the blood stream. But because the hyperinsulinized state persists, the fat never gets the signal to feed the other cells between meals.

          I say all this as someone who was grossly obese. I had to buy clothes in a “big and tall” shop, and I’m average height. I got so fat I collapsed a bicycle and wallowed out the bearings in an elliptical trainer. I’m still embarrassed how many chairs I’ve replaced.

          Then, as a show of support for someone else, I cut carbs to 20-something grams per day, and because I had to eat something (I used to have a -ravenous- appetite), increased my fat and protein intake hugely. Suddenly, I was losing weight so fast my neighbors (both nurses) were worried I had cancer.

    2. BillsCatz| 10.6.12 @ 3:41PM |#
      …”Yet this is a two-edged sword because society as a whole has been brainwashed”…

      Care to define ‘brainwashed’ in objective terms?

  23. What’s a parent?

    1. It apparent they’re a bunch of lying bastards.

  24. BillsCatz…must be a blast living in your household. Sheesh.

  25. It’s a big surprise that people who require more food think more about where to obtain it? Really?

    “Ultimately, my down-the-road goal is to see if we can help people improve their self-control and make healthier decisions,” Bruce tells the Toronto Star. “Because kids are limited by their underdeveloped brains, however,” reports the Star, “that goal would mean asking: ‘How moral or ethical is it to advertise to children?'”

    Ronald McDonald ads go back to Willard Scott’s TV spots in 1963, and the modern version of the clown goes back to 1966. Further, the obesity problem has now extended to the third world and babies not yet on solid food. Excessive wealth, hamburger restaurant advertising and lack of physical labor are not viable proximate causes.

    Notice they treat obesity as mental illness instead of malnutrition? Check out…..5208021234 and scroll down to the three pics of women. How do you binge half the body while purging the other half?

    1. You don’t. But fat doesn’t necessarily collect, or get burned, symmetrically. I’m 5’9” and weigh ~190 lbs, but the only place it shows is around my middle. Everywhere else I look pretty skinny.

      1. Exactly, but these women are emaciated above the waist (like an untreated type 1 diabetic) and obese below (like an untreated type 2 diabetic).

        Fat collection around the middle is often a sign of hyperinsulinism, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, one of the most common problems in modern America.

        1. That’s exactly what I mean. A person really CAN be more overweight below the waist than above it. I’d say women are more prone to this than men, but that’s just my opinion. At any rate, it’s not as severe as you’re making it out to be.

          My fat is not JUST around the middle, that’s just where it’s collected the most noticeably. You can look at any guy with a beer gut to see what I mean. I just have a much lesser version of that. I need to lose weight.

          1. The women in those pics are literally emaciated above the waist, and obese below the waist. The woman in the second and third pics began by losing all the fat in her face in her teens, and the effect traveled further down her over time.

  26. As a life-long loser in the battle of the waist line, I can certainly understand why people WANT to be right about censoring food advertising. As an ad man and former professor, I could show you some pretty provocative subconscious communication techniques that advertisers use to manage the meaning of their brand, as well. And these techniques are, more often than not, pointed at the parents, not the children.

    McDonalds doesn’t sell hamburgers. Just get that out of your heads. They sell innocent joy. Pure, simple, primary colored warmth, with lots of food chemist alchemy to authenticate the brand promise. The ubiquity of the message through mass media, the accessibility of genuinely joyful highs, and the low price point make this the business model from heaven, even if the ingredients are straight from….elsewhere.

    But as bad as this is, the author is correct in saying that its up to the parent to break the spell. People fall prey to drug and food addiction because they are temporary solutions to an unhealthy body and mind. Shut off the TV. Go shopping for fresh food with your children. Have them help you prepare a good, nourishing meal with you in the kitchen. And over time, your body and mind will no longer require the drug of fast food.

    When this happens, the ads for fast food will lack their punch because the experience will be revealed for what it truly is…the meth lab of diet options.


  28. How can anyone possibly put corporate profits before our kids’ health?

  29. junk food make you fat and stupid….

  30. Okay .. I’ll answer this one too. You find it “interesting” that children’s brains are conditioned to see logos differently, and yet your response is it’s the parent’s responsibility to get them to eat better? Really? Social conditioning is not a necessary evil, just a step in the process of competitive advantage. Why those of us who favor social and community empowerment are not able to play this game and make it work better for the benefit of all astounds me … and is something the social responsibility sector needs to explore for itself. But we will never solve the food and eating problem in this nation by blaming the victims and assuming we can exercise away the brainwashing that marketing does. That’s just intellectual silliness.

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