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Have you ever had a theme song stuck in your head from a commercial or advertisement of some sort? This is how companies and food industries convince you to buy their products. Commercialization persuades the audience of targeted civilians watching it to purchase the food/product being advertised. We can agree that American diets need to improve significantly. The best way to improve American diets is not to reduce the amount of commercialization, but to improve the food products being advertised.

Junk food advertisement increases the number of customers just like any other commercial. Junk food has significantly unhealthy items on their menu along with giant proportion sizes. The commercialization of junk food contributes to these unhealthy foods in hurting American diets. “To be sure, many of Big Food’s most popular products are loaded with appalling amounts of fat and sugar and other problem carbs (as well as salt), and the plentitude of these ingredients, exasperated by large proportion sizes, has clearly helped foment the obesity crisis” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). The increasingly large amount of fattening ingredients in junk food products is in fact worsening American diets. So, the commercialization of these products is increasing the number of consumers. Therefore, reducing the commercialization will reduce the persuasion of viewers and contribute to helping American diets.

This would be a successful theory if consumers and sellers were willing to let it go. However, junk food is very addictive to many civilians and also a very successful industry. Just like marijuana and other addictive products, to substantially decrease the junk food industries sales is not a practical goal. “The government never managed to keep the tobacco companies from selling cigarettes, and banning booze (the third-most-deadly consumable killer after cigarettes and food) didn’t turn out so well” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). This shows the difficulty of banning or reducing production of addictive products including junk food. If eliminating commercialization of junk food products were a reachable goal, this would most definitely improve American diets, but food addictions prevent that from happening. Which means we should look for an alternate solution to helping American diets.

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Instead of reducing the commercialization of junk food, why not focus our attention on improving the nutrition within the products. If junk food industries could find a way to make their products healthier, then a large percentage of Americans would be eating healthier food. “In fact, McDonalds has quietly been making healthy changes for years” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). This shows that junk food industries are willing to corporate but, want to do it secretively. Why don’t junk food industries not want to blurt out that they are improving their foods, Isn’t that a good thing? Well, according to Charles Spence “‘People expect something to taste worse if they believe it’s healthy’” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). This is why junk food industries have kept it discreet throughout the years. In order to protect their business and keep the high rate of consumers, the junk food industries make minor changes that go unnoticed throughout the society. However, this shows that they are willing to participate in contributing to the process of improving American diets. Small changes in the nutrition of junk food will slowly but surely make a large difference in future of American diets.

Another step to take instead of reducing commercials is to use the amount of consumers of the junk food industry to our advantage. The unique position that junk food companies have allow them to make large-scale changes. The author Freedman states, “According to a recent study, Americans get 11 percent of their calories, on average, from fast food – a number that’s almost certainly much higher among the less affluent overweight” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). As expressed, junk food industries have a very high quantity of consumers, which means they have the capability to increasingly improve American diets and possibly even globally make a difference. By commercializing the products and sustaining a large amount of customers, it makes it possible for minor changes in the foods to make a big change. The grasp that junk food has on civilians is so large that with the support of the industry, we may even be able to end the obesity epidemic.

The equally important contributing factor to improving American diets is to keep commercialization around and put to use the power that it holds over its audience. The persuasion tactics and attention-grabbing methods make commercialization a very strong mechanism. If this materialistic method is used correctly, then it could help consumers to eat healthier. The author Khullar states, “Each year, the food industry spends nearly 2 billion marketing its products to children, and evidence suggests that children exposed to junk food advertising express greater preference for these types of food” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). This shows the capabilities of commercialization and the effect it can have on targeted groups. As a part of their strategy, they may alter the way they portray a commercial due to what audience they are trying to convince. If junk food were to be altered, the commercialization of them would help promote healthy eating. This means that commercials may actually help benefit American diets in the future instead of hurting them.

Ultimately, we know that Americans are suffering due to unhealthy foods. “Nearly three-quarters of Americans are overweight or obese…” (Baur, Holly, ‘Food Matters’). Advertisement does increase the amount of junk food consumers due to the persuasive techniques. But, due to the large amount of consumers junk food has, if we change the product then all those people will be consuming something healthier. Therefore, although advertisement increases sales of the product, it is the food production that is the problem. If we change the nutrition of junk food, we will significantly improve American diets and commercialization will be contributing significantly to the cause.

References

  1. Baur, Holly. Food Matters. Edited by John Sullivan, Bedford/st Martins, 2018.
  2. Freedman, David. ‘How Junk Food Can End Obesity’. Baur, pp 139-159.
  3. Khullar, Dhruv. ‘Why Shame Won’t Stop Obesity’. Baur, pp 135-137.

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