A report released last month by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity has found that black and Hispanic families are more likely to buy unhealthy, highly-advertised cereals than those with no marketing. The study is to appear in the journal of Public Health Nutrition.
Researchers used data from the Nielson Company, collected over the course of a year in American supermarkets. They examined race, ethnicity and income of families with and without children. Researchers also assigned nutrition scores to various products as well as indicators of whether or not it was advertised and how to conduct the study.
They found in black and Hispanics, “compared with non-advertised products, advertised child-targeted cereals were purchased thirteen times more frequently; family-targeted brand purchases were ten times higher; and adult-targeted cereals were purchased four times more frequently.”
The report also states, “Similar buying patterns were found with lower female head-of-household education, lower income and southern region.”
“Our study shows that marketing really does affect sales,” said Jennifer L. Harris, who co-authored the study. “Unfortunately, this seems to be having the biggest effect on black households.”
The conclusion of the study makes the argument that cereals marketed to children are typically less healthy. With results showing that the advertising is especially effective, the researchers suggest that benefits in health could be found if similar marketing efforts were directed into healthier options.
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