Price discounts and combo meals on fast food encourages the masses to eat more of it and suffer from hidden health conditions that show up at the wrong time. It is time to put an end to this evil scheme and the Government must take immediate action. The food industry makes unhealthy foods readily available and heavily markets them to us. This makes it very easy to consume excessive amounts of unhealthy foods. It also makes it difficult to make healthy choices on a regular basis.
In an interview, Dr. Cassidy remarked “these types of ads contribute to an environment that makes it harder for adults and children to make healthy food choices,” and that “these types of ads contribute to an environment that makes it harder for adults and children to make healthy food choices.”
She also added, “These tactics create young consumers who will remain loyal to their brand throughout their lifetime.”
“There is not only a disease risk for adults and children in developing countries,” she continued, “but also a risk to the country’s healthcare systems, which must bear the huge burden of treating infectious diseases and the growing number of noninfectious diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension).”
A high-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt diet also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
New Age Consumers
Fast food is all the rage among the masses, especially children. In the past ten years, adults were not frequent consumers of of fast food, compared to the adults at present, who grew up watching fast food advertisements and consuming it. The new age children are addicted to eating fast food without a doubt.
One of Pakistan’s most important industries is fast food. The demand for fast food is growing all the time, which is why so many investors are paying increasing attention to this industry. Rapid urbanization, increased participation in the workforce, increased exposure to different foods via popular media, from workers and students returning from overseas, and promotional activities of the local industry are some of the reasons why people like to visit restaurants. In Pakistan, the fast food industry has a significant presence.
The Marketing Giants
Food advertisements are quite successful in inspiring people to try out their brands, and people try to incorporate those foods into their diets. However, the impact of food advertisements on Pakistani health leads to a slew of health issues.
For product promotion, advertisements are communicated through the audio-visual medium or by placing large posters on billboards. These advertisements have a big influence on people’s eating habits. Such public relations and marketing strategies to inspire the audience are used all over the world. Each company invests millions of rupees in marketing their products.
With catchy slogans, attractive models, and jaw-dropping visuals, these advertisers take full advantage of the opportunity to show appealing colorful ads that influence public food choices. Despite the fact that they are not special food items as they are depicted, the ads continue to be shown and we end up purchasing them. Fast food restaurants have surely become the marketing giants in the advertising world.
Advertisements aren’t just for showing people how to eat healthier and better. Rather, it’s a highly profitable money-making scheme. This is the same marketing strategy used to promote food products all over the world. All of the food brands have their own new advertisements these days.
These brands portray their food as highly fresh with clean materials, and the sound that plays behind the audiovisual advertisements and large posters or pamphlets contain statements such as “we make food that makes you feel alive” or “scrumptious food that waters your mouth” or “we make fresh and tasty food of your choice at low prices,” and other simple strategies that attract people, even highly educated people, easily get inspired. Wrong food choices influenced by advertisements have ruined our health, forcing us to consume fake supplements rather than natural foods that keep us healthy.
The Kids’ Trap
Fast food restaurants use TV commercials with toy prizes to promote children’s meals. The use of these toy bonuses may encourage children to go crazy for fast food meals. Toys with each kids’ meal is very well thought out and in accordance to the latest kids’ favorite movies. Using the children’s favorite cartoon characters in order to lure them into the whirlpool of fries and nuggets is a scheme used since ages. Adding on new shapes to food items such as star-shaped nuggets, animal shaped jellies and bear shaped cakes, makes the children go gaga over them.
The reality of the advertised food is diametrically opposed. To entice the audience, the majority of the products are presented in a deceptive manner. These brands use low-quality materials. Salt and fats are used excessively in them. The majority of advertised foods, such as cold beverages, fast food, instant chicken, and instant noodles, are extremely harmful to humans.
Children are an easy target for such advertisements. A colorful ad filled with animations and jingles is just the way to grasp their attention. This makes the children beg their parents for frequent visits. A few reasons for such frequent visits are more televisions in a home, especially inside bedrooms. It is advised for parents to switch to commercial-free television programming in order to lower the children’s inclination towards fast foods.
Fast food advertisements is an easy way for all brand owners to make money. Especially in lower middle income countries like Pakistan, where the price of food substantially impacts the decision of buying it, discounts on fast food meals plays a huge role. This mainly why low socioeconomic areas have more exposure to advertisements for unhealthy food. People with low incomes and those living in rural or remote areas simply cannot afford a healthy diet i.e., it costs more than 30% of their total income.
The bottom line is that fast-food chains have rapidly expanded their social media presence around the world, particularly in countries with low-to-middle-income households. The expansion of social media ads in fast-food advertising may have an impact on consumer health. Furthermore, marketing ads that entice young fast-food consumers may contribute significantly to the current and future costs of healthcare in the world’s most vulnerable countries.
Wrong food choices influenced by advertisements have ruined our health, forcing us to consume fake supplements rather than natural foods that keep us healthy. In many ways, these advertisements have surrounded us. False slogans show everything that is unhealthy about a food item in a very healthy way. The impact of food advertisements can be demonstrated using the following example: oil advertisements are visually appealing, but the truth is that all of the oil brands shown in advertisements are highly unhealthy and cause a variety of diseases. Healthcare professionals, especially nutritionists can be consulted to get detailed guidance on your dietary habits.
So, is there any way to change the current scenario? One way is to implement health policies that limit or prohibit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. The second method is to develop prevention and intervention programs that will teach adults and children how to recognize these advertisements and make food choices that are more in line with their hunger signals, personal values, and culture. Ads on digital and social media are designed to look like ‘normal’ Instagram posts, making it difficult for adults, children, and even parents to tell the difference.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with top nutritionists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online appointment booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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