To Your Health
November, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 11)
Influencing What Kids Eat
By Editorial Staff
Online influencers appear to be just as bad as television commercials when it comes to promoting unhealthy food; and with such influencers increasingly attracting the attention of children, even at a young age, that's a major problem. New research reveals the extent of the challenge parents now face when it comes to teaching their kids healthy eating habits.
After analyzing more than 400 YouTube videos posted last year by the five most-watched kid influencers, they discovered nearly half featured food or drinks, 90 percent of which promoted unhealthy branded food items, such as fast food. Influencers ranged from ages 3 to 14, and their videos were viewed collectively more than 1 billion – yes, that's billion – times. Study findings appear in Pediatrics, the primary research journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Keep in mind that in the vast majority of cases, these influencers don't just "happen" to be eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages. They're eating and drinking specific products in return for money from the companies that produce them. It's just the latest way to attract and keep customers, all under the guise of your child's "online friends," who tend to inspire great trust and loyalty among their viewers. If the influencer does it, your child will do it. If the influencer supports it, your child will support it. And if the influencer eats and drinks it...