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Field Research: Marketing Foods that Cause Poor Nutrition and Obesity in Children

Field Research

Consider the following:
Many products, diets, and services are marketed to parents as beneficial to infant or toddler development. In order to increase sales to parents and caretakers, some companies use marketing strategies that make exaggerated, unfounded, or unrealistic claims about the effects of their product(s) on child development. Select one claim that you suspect to be exaggerated or false (your research may in fact show the claim has validity). Describe in detail what the advertised product, diet, or service is supposed to do. Some examples are:
- Educational videos as related to language development
- Effects of classical music on cognitive development
- Benefits of soy diet or organic food diet on physical and cognitive development
- Service promising to teach your 18-month-old how to read
- Any other claim made by a manufacturer or service provider, aimed at enhancing infant or toddler development

Address the following:
- What area or areas of development does the product, diet, or service claim to enhance?
- Use the UOPX library to investigate the claim. What does the published literature say about the issue or concern that you are investigating? What does the research reveal about how to promote healthy development in this area or areas? What does this reveal about the necessity and actual benefits of the product, diet, or service?
- Is there any evidence to support the claim? Why or why not?
- Imagine that a licensed psychologist in your state publically endorsed a product with no empirical evidence supporting its claims. It was later discovered that the psychologist was receiving a percentage of money from the sale of the product to parents. Is this a violation of the APA code of ethics? Explain. Be sure to cite the appropriate section or sections of the Code in your response.
- The code of ethics can be located at the following link:

Solution Preview

Marketing Foods that Cause Poor Nutrition and Obesity in Children


Marketing food can be a dilemma to both parents and the professionals who take care of children with behavioral issues. These foods are often contain high sugars and can often cause high peaks of sugar in children. These peaks of sugar may trigger symptoms in children that may be misinterpreted for behavioral issues. Children are also susceptible to unhealthy eating patterns that cause childhood obesity. This also may cause loss of self-esteem besides serious health problems. Unfortunately, children are highly affected by advertising and parents need to watch closely regarding contents of possible high sugar food such as cereals. Psychologists must abide by the ethical standards of the American Psychology Association when reporting any information as empirical evidence.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Eating healthy is now becoming more of a challenge in children. Children eat away from home more often and one of these meals is either purchased through fast food or provided in a lunchroom cafeteria. We are very happy that perhaps one of the meals that are provided at home is breakfast and it can be a nutritious and balanced diet. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misconception in the manufacturing of cereals. What appears to be healthy may be full of sugar and quick acting carbohydrates leaving their body starving for nutritious elements such as proteins, vitamins and minerals. Children now are at their largest ever. Diseases that never existed in children are now prevalent and rampant. Much of this is due to the advertising done by manufacturers that by giving our children breakfast food, we are providing the healthier meal of the day. In some cases, this could be more wrong and many children will have early deaths and diseases that normally exist in people ten to twenty years older than they are now.

Cereal for children is marketing strategically so children are visually drawn to the colorful boxes with cartoon-like figures. There may be an enticing prize in the box which makes the cereal tempting regardless of the nutrient value. These cereals are also displayed at the eye-level of children. If you are looking for Rice Krispies ®, look downward, you will find them on the bottom shelf. More adult cereals are high on the ledges where children are not interested in pursuing. Cereals have been a popular part of our ...