A research report released on Monday revealed that fast-food restaurants are working hard on their marketing plans to allure children and toddlers towards themselves and unhealthy food products by employing means such as television ads, websites and even menus.
The one-year study was led by Jennifer Harris, of the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity in Connecticut and colleagues. They analyzed menu items and kids' meal combinations of 12 renowned fast food chains for calories, fat, sugar and sodium content.
The researchers found that the expenditure that the food industry made on marketing and advertising their products and chains on television, the Internet, social media sites and mobile applications stood at more than $4.2 billion in 2009.
The report contains that there are 21% more fast food ads on TV today than in 2003 that the toddlers are exposed to and the proportion is 34% more in case of other children.
Harris said, "Despite pledges to improve their marketing practices, fast food companies seem to be stepping up their efforts to target kids".
There are 13 websites of McDonald's Corp, which fascinate 365,000 new child visitors every month aged below 12. The site known as ronald. com specially aims at toddlers. In an average visit, the teenagers buy 800 to 1,100 calories or half the calories they consume in a day.
The report have called for Government's efforts to curb the marketing initiatives taken by various food-chains by declaring children a s protected group that could help solving the problem of increasing obesity among US kids.