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My New Analysis And Why We Should End Junk Food Marketing Online

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Every second, 500 junk food ads go out online that are seen by children. 

I’m a 16-year-old boy from Leicester. I feel like I’m being bombarded with junk food ads on my phone and on my computer. And I’m pretty sure this is getting worse.

Online advertising works, otherwise, why would junk food companies spend their millions on it? So this advertising is definitely manipulating young people like me to crave more, pester our parents more, buy more, and ultimately eat more unhealthy food.

And that must be really bad for our future chances, right? Because we know that an unhealthy diet is linked with child obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, poor performance at school, bullying, mental health problems… and much more.

So what’s going on here? Am I actually right that young people like me are being bombarded with junk food ads? Why is this happening? Is it getting worse? What are the tools, techniques and tricks that advertisers are using to target us? Do adults even know this is going on? And most importantly of all, what can we do to protect young people’s health?

I needed answers to these questions. So I asked experts in digital marketing and in the food system to research and write this exposé for me, lifting the lid on what’s really going on, and here is what they found.

Dev​​​​​​​

In this exposé, we take up Dev’s challenge by both examining existing evidence and carrying out our own new analysis. Dev is absolutely right that children are facing a bombardment of junk food adverts online. In fact, young people in Britain are exposed to 15 billion junk food ads a year online. That’s nearly 500 adverts per second. And it’s only increased during the lockdowns. 

Here is what else we found….. 

long view image​​​​​​​

Twitter junk food per second

Bus twitter

Click here to read the whole analysis, and if you’re as shocked as us, click here to sign Dev’s letter calling for Matt Hancock to meet with him and hear his concerns.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Front Cover​​​​​​​

For more number-crunching background research click here

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