Failing to Engage: Parents’ Acceptance of the Promotion of Unhealthy Foods to Children
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Six focus groups were conducted with parents and children to explore issues relating to the promotion of unhealthy foods to children. While general discontent with food advertising was expressed by parents and children, none of the parents reported ever making a formal complaint and most exhibited a begrudging acceptance of the current rates of advertising of unhealthy foods and the manner in which these foods are promoted. The primary reasons for this acceptance were found to be (i) an understanding that businesses need to promote their products to ensure their survival, (ii) an assumption that parents should be capable of overcoming the negative effects of advertising, (iii) the perceived value of competitions, toys, and other give-aways, and (iv) the increasing availability of healthy product variations.
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