Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational, and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life. Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox.
[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]
Of interest is a Sarasota Herald-Tribune article (9/16/08) about black Americans being targeted by advertisers to eat less healthy foods than white Americans. Unfortunately, the article was intended for my “Blog” folder, but ended up somewhere else until I recently discovered it. Hence, my blogging about it two years late! My apologies.
The article is a real eye opener, stating that overweight and obesity rates are higher among blacks than among whites—68.9% to 59.5%—and that one of the culprits is food marketers. These statistics come from research reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. “In a review of 22 studies published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that advertisers specifically target blacks with unhealthy food messages.” The kinds of food that are advertised—sweets and treats, of course.
Obviously, these foods are aggressively marketed to all Americans. However, “TV shows that are popular among black audiences run a greater number of food commercials than do general-audience shows. And food ads in black-oriented magazines are dominated by low-cost, energy-dense, low-nutrition foods—snack foods which are full of salt, sugar and fat. The results suggest that the marketing environments of African-American consumers are less likely to support the development and maintenance of healthful eating.”
By putting profit over people, the food industry undermines our best attempts at healthy eating. An excellent reason to scrutinize TV programs and commercials, as well as to make up our own minds and shop carefully, no matter what advertisers may try to sell us. They do not have the interest of the American public at heart, and are no friends of black Americans, in particular, no matter what message they try to put across that food is fun and a way to love ourselves and our children.
Every time any of us, black or white, gives in and mindlessly succumbs to high calorie/fat/salt food—I don’t mean consciously eating it now and then for pleasure as “normal” eaters—we are putting money in the pockets of the food industry and shaving healthy minutes off our lives. The fact that blacks are targeted should not only make them angry, it should make whites angry as well, that anyone should be seen by the food industry as just another dollar. The only way the industry will change is if we alter our eating habits and eliminate their profits.
This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.