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Medicine

Fast-Food Logos Burned Into Pleasure Center of Children's Brains 322

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the run-for-the-border dept.
bbianca127 writes "A study has found that fast-food logos are branded into the minds of children at an early age, perhaps fueling the U.S.'s obesity epidemic. The study showed children 60 logos from popular food brands and 60 logos from popular non-food brands. Researchers found that, when shown images of fast-food brands, the parts of kids' brains linked with pleasure and appetite lit up. This is concerning because marketers tap into those portions of the brain long before children develop self-control, and most foods marketed to kids are high in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat."
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Fast-Food Logos Burned Into Pleasure Center of Children's Brains

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:08AM (#41460241)
    I have always thought that exposure to fast food at an early age (perhaps due to mom and dad being perennially short of time to cook) implants a memory into kids of the taste of greasy fast food that sticks with them forever. Don't feed them this glop.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or, maybe it was the glop that their parents made them eat at home that so enhanced the experience of the crap they got when they went out to McD's, Burger King, whatnot.

      • by Genda (560240) <mariet@ g o t . n et> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:54AM (#41460493) Journal

        Its neither. We are evolutionary survival machines, look at the things that our ancestors did to survive. They sought sugars, salts, protein and fat. Any combination of those things is literally guaranteed to addictive to a human being. We are bred literally to respond to that combination. So what do fast food restaurants do, they server us huge helpings of sugar, salt, protein and fat. These things have survival value. Sadly, they are also killing us. The ugly part is that people are getting rich pulling the trigger, knowing full well its a trigger.

        • by pinkushun (1467193) * on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:46AM (#41460749) Journal

          Yup, those sugary and fatty foods provided sustenance for those periods when food was scarcer, when your body relies on fatty deposits.

          Super markets eliminated the need to hunt for food interspersed with periods of shortages, but the latent craving for those sugary, fatty treats still remained.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:28AM (#41460937)

          Indeed it should be forbidden to sell that stuff or at least advertise it. Kids are not allowed to drink alcohol so why are they allowed to eat food only based on these triggers. Beside that, they do not learn the wide variety of tastes food can have and they loose one portion of culture. Also they trained that eating is only for resupply of calories and other stuff relevant for the metabolism. However, that is normally called feeding. Humans developed culture and dishes and the art of eating them is part of the culture.

          • by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @08:56AM (#41462767)

            Or we could just stop letting people blame their problems on others. Yeah, I'm fat. I know why I'm fat, I eat too much food. Do I care, yes. Enough to do anything about it, no. At some point every person has to take responsibility for their own choices.

            • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @09:26AM (#41463069)
              On the other hand, I think people get really uncomfortable with the idea that advertizing has the impact it does.. the idea makes them feel less in control of their lives so they underestimate how much other forces actually do sway them. We like to think we are above influence, but we are not, and marketers know we are not.

              This does not absolve us from personal responsibility, but it does mean we need to be more realistic about what effects us so we can take responsibility by working to limit or remove those influences.
            • by ultranova (717540)

              At some point every person has to take responsibility for their own choices.

              Strangely, the people advocating this often don't seem to think it extends to the choice of persuading others to follow an unwise course of action in order to benefit at their expense. Whether this is because they mistake practical problems - such as obesity - as moral ones - and have a primarily punishment-oriented morality, so obesity can be seen as a punishment for gluttony, requiring no action on the condemners part to enforce,

          • by s0nicfreak (615390) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:05PM (#41465781) Homepage Journal
            Actually kids are allowed to drink alcohol - they're just not allowed to buy it. In most countries, and in most states in the US (details [procon.org]), kids are allowed to drink alcohol as long as their parents say it's okay.

            Children that have not yet developed self-control usually have parents to do the controlling for them. If we want to do away with fast-food advertising due to childrens' lack of self control, by that logic we would have to do away with all advertising... or, a better solution; expect parents to make up for a child's lack of self-control.
    • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:02AM (#41460835) Homepage

      Yeah, it's not fast food. WhatEVER kids eat at an early age, that's why they'll enjoy for the rest of their lives. It's called "human culture". Fast food's got nothing to do with it.

      Liking fast food is essentially chemistry. Science (yay, science!) has basically figured out what tastes good on the human taste bud. Fast food supplies this. Sure, you gourmands out there will choke and puke at the thought of fast food, but that is purely social conditioning (the kind that intelligent people insist they're too smart to fall for). Take someone with no preconceptions, say a barbarian from a pre-modern society, and serve them two meals: one of a Big Mac and the other Thai-Burmese-Argentinian fusion or whatever is considered haute cuisine these days, and the barbie will pick the Big Mac every time.

      • by Avatar8 (748465) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @12:56PM (#41465661)
        Dislike of fast food is not social conditioning.

        I grew up with home-cooked meals, not healthy but typical comfort food. Once I was old enough to cook for myself, most of my meals came out of the freezer and cardboard boxes. When I was old enough to drive, fast food joints were my primary source of food.

        I grew obese, developed a few health problems then met and married a woman who not only knows how to cook, but has recently learned to cook healthier food. I'm losing weight, all health issues are gone and I'm eating the best food I've every had in my life.

        Your analogy of a barbarian choosing between a burger and ethnic food is far off the target. Compare apples to apples. Given the choice between a McD/BK/W/whatever burger and a burger made with fresh beef, fresh vegetables and fresh baked bread, the barbarian will steer clear of the fast food one after one bite. (Actually, he'd probably eat both.)

        Food does not have to be fancy to be good. It should be fresh, healthy AND taste good. Fast food restaurants provide NONE of those factors.

        Try eating fresh food for a month, and you'll wretch at the thought of trying to eat a fast food burger, too. Don't try the "fast food is cheaper" argument either. It's been well documented that buying and preparing food is much cheaper than fast food, not only at the cash register but also at the doctor's office.

    • by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:40AM (#41460993)

      I agree, but I think it is a wider issue than that. I remember, when growing up, I was always told to "eat up" and not waste food, even when I genuinely felt that I didn't want to eat more. This makes sense, of course, if you can't be sure when the next meal will be around, but it teaches us at an early age to override the signal to stop eating. That, in combination with the way we serve food in the West: a whole meal on a large plate, means that it is very easy to develop a habit of overeating.

      Perhaps we should learn from the Chinese: you put all the dishes in the middle of the table and eat out of small bowls; and you only take a little bit at a time, so you don't have to sit there, being full with half a meal on your plate, feeling that you must finish. And of course, the Chinese tend to integrate the leftovers in the next meal, so there is less food wasted overall.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have always thought that exposure to fast food at an early age (perhaps due to mom and dad being perennially short of time to cook) implants a memory into kids of the taste of greasy fast food that sticks with them forever. Don't feed them this glop.

      Exactly. My Seven year old has NEVER eaten McDonalds or KFC. He once went to a birthday party at Burger King and still speaks about how horrible the food was. He has eaten Subway periodically and likes food from local non-chain restaurants but we have made a deliberate effort not to feed him this junk.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @05:45AM (#41461579)

      Taste enhancer additives are the culprit. I remember when i was a kid, the one potato chips which was made by virtually a monopoly company in my (communist then) country tasted ... ordinary: salt, oil, crisp potato. Then, much later, a new company came with Western technology and it tasted ... like heaven! I always liked chips, but while 50 grams bag of old chips was more then I could eat alone, I couldn't satiate myself even with 200 grams of this new chips. The difference was, of course, the "secret" (not really ... just in small print) additive ingredient in the latter.

  • the pizza hut, the pizza hut and the kentucky fried chicken. show your children this video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZI99nwv9VA [youtube.com]
  • by Crio (246534)

    Do you really expect "appetite center" to lit up when shown logo of nappies?
    Right now it is simply Pavlov's dog - sime images are associated with food, some don't. Compare logos of providers of "non-healthy" food to some healthy food - vegetables, fruits - then you'll have something to talk about, but I bet you'll find no difference.

    • Re:ORLY? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:42AM (#41460421) Homepage

      Compare logos of providers of "non-healthy" food to some healthy food - vegetables, fruits - then you'll have something to talk about, but I bet you'll find no difference.

      To find no difference, you'd need to compare them with logos of healthy food that comes with cheap plastic toys and a playground. I find my children quickly stopped asking to go to McDonalds when I started buying them a cheeseburger, chips and orange juice from the a-la-carte menu for taking out, instead of a "Happy Meal" and eating in and letting them use the playground there.

      • Re:ORLY? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by CubicleZombie (2590497) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:45AM (#41460743)
        I get annoyed with the "Mod parent up!" posts, but damn, that's insightful. Parent of a 12 week old here. I'll remember that.

        As a very young kid, I remember Mom taking me to McDonalds on the way to pick up my older brother from school. It was only for the playground. She never bought me any food there. And I always wanted fruits instead of candy at the grocery store. Guess she was onto something.
  • no self control (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chentiangemalc (1710624) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:17AM (#41460283) Homepage
    lets blame advertisers for poor parenting.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fuck you. Everyone knows that advertisements send out magical brainwashing waves that make you want to buy products. That explains why I buy things I find in advertisements. Wait...

      • by oztiks (921504)

        You joke but the funny thing I find is the power of advertising. I remember watching this Detol ad where the wife just washed her hands and the husband kisses her good bye before going to work and just before he leaves all of a sudden he feels the wife's hands and he falls back in love with her all over again, the music changes and he's in a dream land then all of a sudden snaps out of it. At the conclusion I thought wow .... Voodoo Soap, interesting pitch.

        It really doesn't matter how much technology grows

        • by Genda (560240) <mariet@ g o t . n et> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:09AM (#41460555) Journal

          I swear the public doesn't get it. For 70 years, advertisers have been doing double blind studies on how to control and manipulate you. They go for your conscious mind, they go for your unconscious mind, they assault your pleasure centers, they know what frequencies in what order trigger certain centers in your brain. They are aware of when to target you by common daily habits and schedules. In short advertizing is a science with a cutting edge that make a scalpel look like a blunt instrument. They go after your biology, culture, demographic, political views, religious beliefs, you social opinions. Its one of the reasons we now see sound bite instead of meaningful campaigns. That my friends if the work of Wall street advertising as applied by politics which has degenerated into just one more product being sold to semi comatose mouth breathing pubic.

          • by sjames (1099)

            Let 'em set the hooks, just not the way they want. If the song is made for the commercial, think back to the worst stomach flu you ever had and imagine it to the rhythm of the song. If they try grabbing a popular song, just cross associate. Like when the allergy medication lifted a few bars from Tommy, I just associated the commercial with "we're not going to take it" and hilarity ensues. Now if I ever see the commercial again, my first thought will be about not taking the medication.

            Of course, in some cas

          • by Krneki (1192201) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:31AM (#41460945)
            This is nothing short from mind hacking. There is only one way to beat them, don't watch commercials. Not an easy task though. This is why I stopped watch TV at age of 15 and thanks to adblock and similar addons I managed to remove them from my browsing experience.
            • True. Apart from that, I simply decided to disconnect myself from the food industry. Anything that wouldn't have been considered a craft product a 100 years ago - like bread, butter sausages, etc - I make myself. The rest I try to get from non-industrial style operations.

              And you know, it doesn't take significant time. If I am really too burned out for cooking a decent meal in the evening, there's always some leftover stew of some kind in the freezer that I can nuke. And there is so much tasty, healthy and
            • My 15 yo daughter has never watched commercial TV in my house, and my home SOE uses firefox with adblocker. I am amazed that any thinking person would do any different really.

              Oh, and barbie and disney are a no-no in my house as well. I would far prefer my daughter to grow up as normal human being rather than a 'pink princess'.

          • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @04:11AM (#41461149) Journal

            That I rooted my android devices to install an ad-blocker. Works perfectly, ad-free.

            That I don't watch TV, or rather not broadcast TV. I download the TV-series I want, from torrent sites where I block the ads.

            I have multiple layers of web ad-blocking, priv-proxy, ad-blocker, ghostery and finally opera's own rather good content blocker.

            I use a government friend who has access to digests created from newspapers for polticians, ad free newspapers.

            I don't buy DVD's because of their forced ads.

            I don't use streaming services that display ads. Youtube is very easily manipulated to show zero ads.

            I have my groceries delivered so I don't have to go to the supermarket and deal with the visual bombardment created to get me to buy stuff I don't want.

            I do my tech shopping from pricewatch lists and real user reviews, so I don't have to deal with advertising on product sites and "pro" reviews sites whose product is paid for reviews.

            THAT is how effective advertisers have become. I didn't used to mind ads but over the last decade they have managed to stimulate my brain into a rabid hatred of even the tiniest exposure to advertising.

            And I am not alone. If advertising really worked, they wouldn't have to force it on us. The low point apparently happening in New York were kids were forced to watch commercials in exchange for school. It was a VPRO documentary so it probably was true (they are left-wing but to serious to make stuff up).

            Why do you think you can't skip the commercials on DVD's? Because the advertisers are confident you enjoy watching them and want the information? No, because advertisers know all their tricks are useless in persuading people to watch something they don't want to.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
            There are three professions where being untruthful is the key to success: Lawyers, salespeople, and advertising. All three are hired to portray their client in the most favorable light possible, and the very best ones lie through their teeth. The worst of these three are the advertisers because they have legions of psychologists and scientists trying to figure out the best way to lie to people.
    • by lazybeam (162300)

      My 2 year old recognises the golden arches and a few other "naughty" food companies: he calls most of them "hamburger". But I have the skill to say "no" to him. Usually.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:50AM (#41461027)

      I'd like to rephrase that a bit. No parent likes to be called a "poor parent", and all parents want to believe that they are doing the best for their children. However, the advertisers are a very powerful opponent. Parents need to view this as a challenge for them, that requires even more effort on their part, to achieve what is best for their children.

      Fast food advertisers will always find a way to wiggle around any attempt to limit their effectiveness. The challenge for parents will always be there. It's up to the parents to master this opponent.

      And, no, it is not simple and easy.

    • by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:56AM (#41461069)

      lets blame advertisers for poor parenting.

      Groan. Need I say more? *Groan*

      This sort of response has always been stupid, in my view, but with the amount of knoledge we now have about nutrition, how we become obese, how advertising influences people etc etc etc, it is staggerign that there are still this sort of uninformed opinions about.

      First of all, nobody is blaming it all on advertising - not least because there is a lot more going on than idiotic TV adverts. Like the fact that when you go to any shop (even so called health food shops) the ratio between sugary, fatty luxury snacks and appealing, genuinely healthy alternatives is something like one or two orders of magnitude, if I'm not much mistaken.

      And secondly, blaming it on poor parenting or "lack of self-control" is just too much like blaming the victim. People make poor choices because they are not really given any real alternatives. It is so easy to blurt things like "just pull yourself together" - but do you even know how to do this? Can you teach this skill to others? Are you able to help people overcome their moments of weakness? If you know and cared, you wouldn't say this kind of shit.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      More like, let's blame doctorates in psychology for targeting marketing at children. I don't know about you but I fully expect a person with a doctorate in psychology to scam a child into eating food that will harm the child, psychopaths go to university to you know and they lover to be able to control people.

      Currently the worst thing around is using a calorimeter to measure calories. Dry out food and burn it to measure the energy it contains, guess what even roughage has calories. A new measure is requi

    • by silentcoder (1241496) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @06:22AM (#41461787) Homepage

      To counter a joke with sad facts.
      The truth is that study after study has found that nobody is immune to advertising -even as we all think we are (that's part of WHY we aren't).

      Ask people - nearly all of them will tell you they look at products in the store and buy the best value product as determined primarily by the price.

      Let them buy and not know you are watching: 85% of them will consistently buy the thing with the most appealing packaging even if it costs significantly more. If asked afterward, they rationalize it as believing it was better quality (without any actual reason for this belief).

      The small 15% who really DO manage to consciously and deliberately override advertising (no, they are NOT immune, they just learned to recognize the response and deliberately ignore it - like choosing NOT to wank when you're horny) - are the same kind of people who shop with a calculator in hand and make damn sure they don't go over-budget - and dont' buy anything not on the list unless there were enough specials to put them UNDER budget by more than the extra costs.
      Those people DO exist- and they are the reason shops have no-name brands. The same product in plain packaging bought in bulk and sold cheaper.

      Those people buy the no-name (I'm one of them, most of the time anyway) stuff because we know it's the better value - but the more expensive pretty packaging stuff is stocked right next to it, and the vast majority of people buy THOSE.

      The science simply disproves most of our free will illusions. I won't discount it's existence entirely - but make no mistake, the vast majority of our lives are responding to ancient urges without us ever actually rationally thinking about and questioning those actions - let alone choosing to do otherwise (though we can apparently). People who figured out what those urges are CAN and DO exploit this tendency.

  • by mspohr (589790) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:18AM (#41460291)

    There is good evidence that food preferences starts with the first solid food. Most infants (at least in the US) are started on white rice cereal and this has been shown to lead to a preference for high glycemic index foods (simple sugars and starches) leading to obesity. They have found that brown rice (low glycemic index) is much better.
    Much better to start with low glycemic index foods (and stay with them for life).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      has been shown to lead to a preference for high glycemic index foods

      Citation please.

      • by mspohr (589790) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:51AM (#41460471)

        Don't usually reply to ACs who don't know how to use Google but here's one for a start:

        Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM, Holmes MD, Malik VS, Willett WC, and Hu FB. “White Rice, Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women. Archives of Internal Medicine. June 2010; 170(11):961-969.

        • by MrAngryForNoReason (711935) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @06:58AM (#41461939)

          Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM, Holmes MD, Malik VS, Willett WC, and Hu FB. “White Rice, Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women. Archives of Internal Medicine. June 2010; 170(11):961-969.

          That is a study of the difference between white and brown rice and how they affect rates of type 2 diabetes in grown men. It doesn't mention anything to do with a connection between foods that infants are fed and their preferences later in life.

          When you make a statement like "There is good evidence" then you really need to be able to back that up with compelling evidence from a reliable source.

    • Hm. How does that work with basically all of south-east asia? The preference for milled white rice is as strong there as here, and rice mush is in all likelihood the first solid food asian kids receive. No obesity epidemic there, though. No question that brown rice is better for a variety of reasons, but I find it hard to see it as a causative agent for the current obesity epidemic.
      • India is bracing for a massive surge in type 2 diabetes, with credible estimates putting the number of sufferers in the next 20 years at more than 100 million.

        It is a frightening phenomenon that threatens to overwhelm the country's health system, according to a leading diabetes specialist in India.Between them, India and China now have more than half of the world's type 2 diabetics.

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-23/obesity-produces-diabetes-epidemic-in-india/4148616 [abc.net.au]

        • But this doesn't coincide with the introduction of white rice, does it?
          • No, it doesn't exactly, if you see my second post, it goes into detail about the possible causes for why and how Indians and other Asians differ from European ethnic populations.

            I'm no expert in this field I do however remember the recent BBC documentary on the subject which I believe discussed the fact that the typical diet was in fact leading to similar health problems without the outward appearance of obesity. How this relates to rice I'm not certain I can remember. There were not only dietary, but also

            • Thanks for the link. I'll have too look deeper into that when I got more time. Interesting stuff. In the end, as a biochemist, I think we are dealing with something more complex than usually presented. I am somewhat tired of the simplistic explanations along the lines of "it's the processed carbohydrates!", "it's the trans-fats" etc., etc.

              Purely anecdotal, I lost about 15 pounds since I stopped using any "industrial" food and started to prepare basically anything apart from classic craft products like br
              • Diets and Genes (Score:5, Interesting)

                by andersh (229403) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @06:00AM (#41461667)

                Yes, it's very interesting, I only have a laymans understanding of the subject(s) involved. My degrees are all in other areas.

                What I have understood however is that the genetic component may be far more important than the diet itself for individuals. The Mediterranean diet may only work well for people with [that or] similar genetic makeup and/or environmental conditions (climate, eating patterns, etc). Consuming butter heavy, low carb diets (Ketogenic) has recently become a fad here in Scandinavia. It even lead to a butter "shortage" before Christmas due to our agricultural policy (protectionist/self-sufficiency).

                From what I have read and seen a lot of industrial food products in the US may have everything from trans-fats, [traces of] anti-biotics and growth hormones and frequently contains High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). The variation of products with corn derivatives is incredible, from beer to dry-wall! We know long-term consumption of HFCS leads to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats (triglycerides).

                That's why I'm thankful that HFCS is not common in food products here in Scandinavia, even our [non-light] sodas use real sugar. It may be part of the obesity problem, in addition to the lack of exercise.

                I remember reading one particularly interesting [American] study on the effects of poor nutrition, lack of healthy alternative food sources and polluted natural environments on the urban poor, and how it effectively locked them in poverty, poor health, low education, unemployment and crime. A cycle that is very hard to break. Think of all the money save and problems we could avoid in health care, welfare and crime prevention!

                • Yes, thankfully I am not in the US either - Germany rather. We, too, have been spared the HFCS. I totally agree on the societal impact of poor nutrition. More than that, I think it is a quite scary loss of simple cultural techniques that many people are not able to prepare a meal from scratch these days.

                  Anyway - greetings to the Northern Neighbours! You may keep that SurstrÃmming, though ;)
                  • Hello neighbour! Wie geht's? Sometimes I think we should have national flag icons next to our usernames :) I much prefer my Norwegian Lutefisk anyway, that Surströmming can stay in Sweden, hehe ;)

                    The problem is obviously spreading and becoming class based, so we're likely to see the same sort of problems here in Europe eventually. It is scary to imagine a future where people only know supermarket "ready meals". Food prices may be higher here where I live, but at least it's produced in my country to acc

        • I will also add that the BBC showed an interesting documentary a short while ago about the cause(s) and effects on the "Thin-Fat Indian".

          This document by Prof C.S. Yajnik MD, FRCP is very detailed in its analysis of the genetics differences between Indians and European ethnic people:

          http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/india/CYajnik.pdf [rcuk.ac.uk]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:22AM (#41460313)

    long before children develop self-control

    This is true, self control is something that develops slowly and isn't present in young children. This is why parents need to provide a substitute for that self control. When I was young my family ate every meal at home, from healthy home cooked food. We NEVER ate at fast food joints, and weren't exposed to fast food advertising. Surprise, now in late middle age (50) I am thinner and in better physical condition than 95% of the country. I've run up flights of steps and seen 20 year olds who can't keep up without wheezing and having to stop for breath.

    A whole generation of parents seems to have dropped the ball. I see children who eat every meal at McDonalds, and are obese by age 6. I see children who badly need exercise driven around by their parents for distances easily walkable. The parents are enabling this problem through lack of parental responsibility for their own children. This is not rocket science: if you eat twice as many calories per day as you burn, you're going to get fat. How did we get so stupid as a nation that we no longer understand this? It seems like whacking one's self on the thumb with a hammer, and wondering why it hurts... over and over and over, never learning that it's our own swinging of the hammer that hurts. Not all the advertising in the world can MAKE you go to McDonalds. You have to chose to do so. You are free to choose NOT to do so, and this is the choice I've made all my life.

    It's just... bewildering to see people make the opposite choice, eat several big macs per day coupled with massive high calorie sodas and large fries, and then bitch about getting fat. Stop doing that! If you're a parent, instil a sense of basic reality in your children, and don't feed them a diet of fast food when they're young enough to be dependent on you. It makes me sick to see so many parents hauling their 5 kids to fast food joints for every single meal.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:36AM (#41460967)

      I believe that all you say is correct. Unfortunately, that also requires a lot of diligence and discipline from the parents. I have the impression that most folks are simply looking for an easy scapegoat:

      • It's the fast food advertising's fault.
      • It's the large drink size fault.
      • It's the soda can's fault.

      Until folks fess up and accept take the responsibility, and realize that they have to take the difficult road, this won't change. Someone or something else will always be the fault for their children's obesity.

  • Why isn't Whole Foods (who btw doesn't only sell healthy foods) advertising at the same rate at the fast food companies trying to burn into our childrens' minds that broccoli and carrots are "extra yummy"...

    Maybe if cauliflower and turnips were wrapped like a xmas present similar to a hamburger and put in a colorful Happy Meal box, kids would be clamoring for vegetables as well.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Because cauliflower and turnips taste at best mediocre, even as an adult? You actually expect a child to LIKE that?

      At least pick vegetables that taste good.

      • Cauliflower and turnips taste mediocre, even for adults, because they are routinely murdered in the kitchen. Learn to cook, guys.

        May I present cauliflower lifted to an acceptable culinary level?

        Break it into small parts, get rid of large stems. Blanch quickly, cool in ice water. I still needs to have crunch, not some evil mushy texture. There you got your basics for good cauliflower.Now we go on.

        1) simple and healthy: Toss with some spring onions and a light vinaigrette. Serve cold. Tasty salad.

        2) De
  • Your parents are worried. Come on kids. Do it for them.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:41AM (#41460417)
    From TFA

    The study, conducted at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center, selected 120 popular food and non-food brands, including McDonald's and Rice Krispies, and BMW and FedEx.

    Were there brands that kids would care about shown as well, or just brands that they happen to know? I don't really see FedEx lighting up the pleasure center in a kid's brain, but Toys'R'Us or Mattel might. Other listed logos from the study are the Target bulls-eye and the Energizer Bunny. I might expect the bunny to cause a little bit of pleasure, but the cuteness of bunnies is balanced with the boringness of batteries.

  • If ancient times, it was the grape, honey and figs.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:57AM (#41460499)

    When they reach puberty the logos will be replaced by other images, which they can easily find on the internet.

    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      When they reach puberty the logos will be replaced by other images, which they can easily find on the internet.

      Like Playboy Bunnies?

    • by Issarlk (1429361)
      At least facebook and farmville won't make them fat.
  • I'm getting hungry just reading about it.

  • They tested the kids on Toddlers and Tiaras. Specifically they tested Honey Boo Boo like 50 times.
  • by SciCom Luke (2739317) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:37AM (#41460693)
    I always had the faint residual of an idea there is such a thing as 'parents' who come in to the picture when children are about to do something that is not good for them. That these carbon based lifeforms have a function of guiding children through early life, which includes warning them of marketing bastards and teaching them to think for themselves before they believe anything to see and hear and read. But that idea might be caused by social phenomena of the previous century...
  • Condition those kids get nauseous and suicidal at the sight of fast food logos.

    Make sure you have child lock doors on your car, in case they decide to jump out.

    Our lives would be much easier without choice and free will.

    "Conform to the norm!"

    • by iserlohn (49556)

      Funny you mention that. It seems that "marketers" that have discovered that free will was an illusion long ago, hence this story.

      We've been exposed to this clockwork orange treatment for much longer than you think. Logos of brands flashing before our eyes and all...

    • by prefec2 (875483)

      Being triggered by conditioning through experience has nothing to do with free will. Do not confuse impulse with free will.

      Second, your idea would lead to high rates of children suicides, as these logos are everywhere. Especially large cities would be uninhabited (if parents are included) or at least the kids would be all gone and the US would die out in one generation. I guess there are some people in the Middle East who find that idea quite tempting.

      The best thing would be a restriction on advertising. An

  • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @08:59AM (#41462807)
    ... a study has confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt that bad parenting is the sole cause of obesity in kids. It has been proven that many kids eat at fast food restaurants but don't get fat because their parents limit their intake and make sure they get plenty of exercise by playing outside once in awhile.

    The government can now remove all regulations on school lunches since parents are able to decide what is and isn't good for their children.

    It has also confirmed that making bad choices is the sole cause of obesity in adults. Bloomberg has been slapped with an injunction to shut the fuck up and leave people alone.
  • by PPH (736903) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @11:10AM (#41464455)

    Get some McDonald's bags and food containers. Fill them with chopped liver, onions and spinach. Then tell the kids you are bringing home some "yummy McDonald's food". Do this a couple of times and they'll scream like hell every time you slow down in front of the golden arches.

  • by swb (14022) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @12:29PM (#41465329)

    Once we accept and refuse to question the low fat dietary paradigm coupled with the "energy balance" paradigm that pushes us to eat less and burn more calories, we end up with all kinds of crazy enemies.

    Fast Food becomes the enemy because it's greasy, but not because most of what they serve has added sugar (the catsup is sky high in sugars) and much of the volume of a fast food meal are simple starches (big buns, french fries, sugary drinks).

    Activities like video games become an enemy because you're "not burning enough calories" to use up the excess of what you've consumed.

    What I find truly interesting are the cultural tie-ins to low fat/exercise. One of the core memes of Christianity is that there can be no redemption without suffering. This plays right into low fat/exercise. Redemption is weight loss. Food without fat and salt tastes terrible. There's part of your suffering. Eating less and being hungry? That's another part of your suffering. Exercise is the other part of the trinity of suffering, and it contributes to the effects of hunger and being tired, making that suffering increase.

    And of course when this doesn't work, it's a failure of character. Weak morals. Lack of discipline. Gluttony. Sloth.

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