The effects of advertising on weight gain The effects of advertising on weight gain

The effects of advertising on weight gain

Keep in mind 24 November, 2017 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

Among the different triggers that cause children to be overweight or obese, there is one that we often ignore: their exposure to the advertising of products that are highly processed or are high in sugar, sodium or saturated fat.

As the World Health Organization explains, “…food marketing to children shows that advertising is extensive and other forms of food marketing to children are widespread across the world. Most of this marketing is for foods with a high content of fat, sugar or salt. Evidence also shows that television advertising influences children’s food preferences, purchase requests and consumption patterns and that increasingly children are being exposed to a wide range of other marketing techniques. Food marketing to children is now a global phenomenon and tends to be pluralistic and integrated, using multiple messages in multiple channels.” Also read: Best practices for preventing childhood obesity.

This is a global phenomenon, and Colombia is not exempt from it. According to the National Nutrition Census of Colombia (ENSIN 2010), one of every six children between ages 5 and 17 is either overweight or obese.

For this very reason, the campaign, No comas más mentiras, ni se las des a tus hijos (Don’t buy into it or give it to your kids) (of the Fathers and Mothers Network, Red PaPaz), conducted a study with 16 focus groups from different cities throughout Colombia. The focus groups mainly consisted of parents, mothers and teachers and helped uncover the “… confusion that exists, especially with the advertising of many highly processed products that are marketed as healthy, but are high in trans fats, sugars or sodium.”

The purpose of the campaign is to avoid the exposure of children and teens to junk food advertisements, understand what is actually being consumed and be more aware of their nutritional needs.

Learn more information on this issue, the proposed solutions and how to join the campaign at