Marketing may Influence how often parents feed kids fast food

NEW YORK: Marketing may influence how often parents feed their children fast food, according to a new study.

The study, led by Sonya A. Grier, an associate professor of marketing at American University’s Kogod School of Business, indicates a need for further research into the effect of fast-food marketing–and food marketing more generally– on the attitudes, social norms and behaviours of members of specific ethnic groups.

In the study, the researchers designed a questionnaire to obtain parents’ self-reports of fast-food access, exposure to fast-food promotion, attitudes toward fast food, fast-food social norms and their children’s fast food consumption.

The questionnaire was administered to parents of children ages 2 to 12 at eight community health centres in medically underserved areas located on the United States’ East Coast and in Puerto Rico.

The questionnaire was administered to parents in the presence of their children and in the parents’ preferred language. Children were measured for height and weight.
Parents’ reports of greater exposure to fast-food promotion were linked to beliefs that eating fast food is a regular practice of family, friends and others in their communities.

Reports of greater exposure to fast food marketing were also linked to increased fast food intake among children. Additionally, the more parents perceived fast-food consumption as a socially normal behaviour, the more frequently their children ate fast food. This was true among the entire sample, not just members of specific ethnic groups.

Hispanics and African Americans reported being exposed to more fast-food marketing and having greater access to fast food than whites. They also reported significantly more positive attitudes toward fast food than did whites. Asian parents expressed the least normative views of fast food consumption.
The study, titled “Fast-Food Marketing and Children’s Fast-Food Consumption: Exploring Parents’ Influences in an Ethnically Diverse Sample,” is published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

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2 Responses to “Marketing may Influence how often parents feed kids fast food”

  • mysterymiss:

    No Really?- I can’t beleive someone actually did a “study” on that…
    I only glanced over the article, but we all watch TV right?
    We all have seen the pretty girls, sexy guys & fast cars?
    Is a study really needed to tell us that Fat Food marketing is working???

  • mysterymiss:

    Interesting considering all we have been talking about and the eating and spending habits of consumers.

    Burger King income up 29% in quarter

    MIAMI — Burger King Holdings, Inc. in the second quarter ended Dec. 31 posted net income of $49 million, equal to 36c per share on the common stock, up 29% from $38 million, or 28c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year.

    Total revenue for the quarter was $613 million, up 10% from $559 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

    “Our strong worldwide performance across all regions and businesses confirmed our ability to execute on our multifaceted strategic growth opportunities,” said John Chidsey, chief executive officer. “Our top- and bottom-line expansion highlights the continued momentum of our brand. We succeeded in challenging macroeconomic environment with marketing initiatives that drove increased sales and traffic, robust international restaurant growth and the profitability of our highly franchised business model.”

    Worldwide comparable sales were up 4.5% in the quarter, representing the 16 consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales. Comparable sales were up 4.2% in the U.S. and Canada, which marked 15 consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth.

    During the six-month period ended Dec. 31, the company posted net income of $98 million, or 72c per share, up 26% from $78 million, or 59c per share, during the same period of the previous year. Revenue for the six months was $1,215,000,000, up 10% from $1,105,000,000 during the same period of the previous year.

    “We have great confidence in our business strategy and the strong momentum in all facets of our business — marketing, products, development and operations,” Mr. Chidsey said. “As we maximize our strategic growth opportunities, we expect to exceed our initial financial guidance for fiscal 2008. We have increased our year-over-year earnings per share growth guidance to be in excess of 15%. We remain committed to delivering top of the industry financial performance, creating significant value for our shareholders.”

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