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

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 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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:23AM (#41460629)

    And no amount of advertising can force you to buy something. It can let you know that thing exists, but you still get to make your own choice.

    You overestimate the extent of free will. Advertisers don't spend billions a year just to let you know that McDonalds (still) exists. They do it because they absolutely can control your behavior. Maybe not reliably enough to force a specific person to eat there, but on the average, it works.

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

    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 geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @11:05AM (#41464377) Homepage Journal

    And she is going to be screwed when she gets out on her own.
    How about you watch commercials and explain how they are trying to manipulate you?

    I would rather my children and look at a commercial and take it apart, then be hidden from them until they end up on there own.

    And just so you know, my kids have been able to take apart a commercial since they were 10.

  • by s0nicfreak ( 615390 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @01:05PM (#41465781) 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 []), 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.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982