Advertising is not bad for children’s health

Majority of the children are still healthy – there is no clear proof that Australian children are becoming less healthy – survey of 5000 children aged 4-16 in schools across NSW, conducted by NSW government, concluded that only 5% increase of overweight population since 1997 to around 25% – children are exercising more frequently more than they were in 1997 2. Children’s good health may be attributed to food chains – Ryan, 9, plays organized sports, intelligent and has a healthy weight and eats McDonald’s burger and fries and fastfood pizza

– McDonald’s encourages children to be involved in sports through sponsoring competitions 3. Advertising detractors just want to make the fastfood chains business difficult – most of them are not interested in children’s eating habits at all 4. Advertisement for food aimed at children do not really make them eat more than they otherwise would – companies advertise not with the aim of making children eat more but of the market share 5. Advertising is the only way for producers to share information with the community about their products – it would be disservice to the company and to the community they serve

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– children, like consumers, need access to information to allow them to be educated C: Advertising is not bad for children’s health Evaluation: This article was written by the author in response to the imperative demand of groups lobbying for banning advertisements of fastfood chains as it harms the children’s health. These groups have claimed that the ill-health and obesity among children are caused by these advertisements and that banning these advertisements is vital to the health of the children. The author uses informal language in the counter arguments.
It attempted to produce scientific claims as rebuttal. There are five major premises in this article. One scientific data was included to support the first claim and no other researches were used as evidence in the succeeding arguments. The first argument suggests that according to a survey conducted by NSW government, the children in Australia are still healthy compared to only 5% increase in the overweight population. This statement gives the impression that the rest of the 70% of the population do not suffer from overweight problems or are normal.
The survey should have furthered on how many in the population are underweight because unhealthy weight of children come in both directions. Also, the article lacked information as to when the survey was conducted to compare it with the results in 1997. A more exact time frame conducted might produce a stronger comparison as to the health of the children in terms of their weight. The second support statement saying that children exercise more frequently than they were in 1997 could have been made more substantive if detailed in the survey.
This might give the readers the impression that selective reading might have been done to support the claim. Variables in the survey should specify the frequency of exercise that makes the children healthier. The second premise is an argument based on example. In logic, this is a big fallacy. One can not claim to have his own experience applicable to the entire community or to a group of people. What is true to one may not be true to another. A specific example of Ryan can not suffice as evidence. Logically it is applying a conclusion out of a single example which may be illicit generalization.
The statement about Ryan saying that his favorite food are from the fastfood chains do not necessarily mean that eating them would make him healthy. Making these foods as his favorite does not also mean that he eats these foods exclusively everyday. For all we know, Ryan may be taking vitamin supplements to make him healthy and maintain optimum function. Secondly, Mc Donald’s sport competitions may not necessarily mean that they are concerned about the children’s health. This article has mentioned already that the interest of the company is to produce market share, to therefore produce good profit.
If McDonald’s chooses to be visible in children activities, it does not necessarily make them nutritious and healthy as a fastfood chain. Supporting events do not necessarily exempt McDonald’s from any allegation the pro-health lobbyist groups have indicted them. The third argument attacks on the main motivation of detractors. The article suggests that the qualms of these advertising antagonists is that they are mainly concerned about destroying the reputation of fastfood chains and not really caring of children’s health.
The single subpremise provided by this argument can not be sufficient in supporting this argument. This argument, let alone, does not have enough bearing to stand on its own because it did not clearly illustrate the real world scenario as it has claimed. The undertone of this argument implies that there is a bigger competition in the food business against the fastfood chains. This may at least be true thinking that it eats up the market share of other cuisines in terms of children.
However, the claim should have included statistics to point into figures the alleged claim of the madness among detractors. The fourth argument, saying that the aim of advertisements is not really to have the children eat more but to have a bigger market share may prove to be a realistic argument. This is the only argument that does not rely on health statistics right at the onset. It may not be obvious in the advertisement upon its theme and delivery, however, the clear picture among the businessmen running the company is to have a bigger share in the market to produce more profit.
It does not have control as to how much food the children are going to eat in their foodchains, their main concern is the number of sales they get at the end of the day. Health may not be a selling ground in this argument, however, it is the only sensible and truthful among the other arguments posted in the article. The last argument saying that advertising is the only way for producers to share information to their community may not necessarily be true. The trend of having models wear a specific product for example or incorporating in movies the product of McDonald’s may not be blatantly advertising but it gives out the same information.
The last argument is generalizing that the only outlet for information dissemination among companies is through paid advertisements in televisions when in fact people can always have testimonies, researches, tabloids and other media sources. The subpremise saying that it may be a form of disservice to the community if the company may not be able to advertise may partially be true. If the company has perks that are available for the community in a specified time frame, this argument may be acceptable. Otherwise, the company may exist without the benefits of advertisement.
The second subpremise in this argument is that children need information, too. Just like people who are in quest for knowledge of a certain product or are just slack and waiting for information, children need adventurous or interesting ways of product presentation and information. Most likely, the creative way to producing such is through advertisements. There is greater product recall and product orientation in the way the product is presented in advertisements rather than reading it in tabloids or in journals.
Advertisement seem to capture interest and in its emotional appeal rather than the rationalization in broadsheets, and the like. Like all people, children need information. As a whole, the entire article in its specificity and clarity is not persuasive enough to claim that advertising is not bad for children’s health. Perhaps, the biggest loophole in this article is the failure to provide a causal link between the two terms: advertising and children’s health. It has also failed to define the nature of advertising and the nature of children’s health, although, obesity was implied as the main illness in the argument.
Objectively, right at the outset, these terms would have been defined and given background as to the qualms of the detractors to make the entire tone of the article more substantive. There must be a direct link as to advertising directly affecting a group of children, making them really unhealthy and must cause a wave of urgency to have this stopped. The article is highly opinionated and may need evidences to support its claims. A better article should contain statistics relating to specific arguments as a number of 6th grade students are reported obese after eating at mcdonald’s once a day for the entire 2 months.
Further researches and surveys should be made to support claims and to make the entire article more persuasive. Claims could have been furthermore substantiated to make the article more convincing. The survey conducted by NSW would have been more convincing if it included complete information as to the date of the conduction of the survey to have a better comparison to the status of the health of children today. This should have at least mentioned as to the frequency of the subjects going to fastfood in a week or any information in that line.
If complete information was released in this survey, it would have been more convincing and more substantive. This is the only survey produced in this article and the only form of science that can be investigated further to support the claim of this article. However, it still poses questions in the readers’ thoughts therefore compromising its validity and accuracy. In general, I should say that the author was not clear and satisfactory in its counter argument in his claim that Advertising is not bad for children’s health.

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