Hispanic and African-American Children Are Target Audiences for Junk Food TV Commercials, Study Says

The study shows that minority children are more likely to see ads for unhealthy foods
Junk Food Targets Minority Kids

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McDonald's spent $113 million on all Hispanic-targeted media and $33 million on all black-targeted media.

Hispanic and African-American children are the target audience for television commercials for sugary drinks and junk food, according to a study published by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

Researchers found that African-American children and teenagers are 70 percent more likely to see food-related television commercials than Caucasians. They also see twice as many commercials for junk food and sugary drinks.

The researchers noted that some media companies spend more money to specifically target Hispanic and African-American audiences. In 2013, McDonald’s spent $113 million on all Hispanic-targeted media and $33 million on all black-targeted media. Hershey’s spent $42.1 million for Hispanics and $41 million on African-Americans in 2013.

Rates of childhood obesity have been climbing in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-two and four tenths percent of Hispanic children and 20.2 percent of African-American children were obese in 2011 to 2012.


Researchers concluded that companies should directly address their current racial-ethnic-targeted marketing practices because they contribute to poor diet among people with higher risk for obesity and diet-related diseases. They also noted that there should be more of an effort to educate these children about nutrition and healthy eating.