Obesity experts say yes. In fact a group of experts are thinking about litigation to protect children.
Sarah Boseley the Health editor for Guardian Newspaper writes:
“Neuromarketing is of growing interest to food companies. Fast food, soft drinks and snack companies increasingly interact with children through social media and online games. Some are beginning to probe further, gathering information through brain scans about how unconscious decisions are made to eat one snack rather than another and targeting people’s susceptibilities. A report on food neuromarketing to children by the Center for Digital Democracy in 2011 predicted “an explosive rise in new tactics targeted especially at young people”.
The article goes on to tell us that large corporations are taking an interest in the science of neuromarketing even to the point of hiring a neuromarketing firm to explore how to use the information gathered to gain more customers. Children are particularly susceptible to this.
“Research has also shown that it is possible to train people’s brains to prefer one food over another. A paper in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience in 2014 by Tom Schonberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas, Austin, found that making people pay more attention to one junk food than another affected their decisions in the long term. Back in the real world, they were more likely to choose the one they had been “trained” to like through greater exposure to it.
Litigation against companies that use neuromarketing to entice children to choose unhealthy foods over healthy choices she writes not only helps parents in their fight to get their children to eat healthy foods but litigation also would work to put a focus on and hopefully curb the ever increasing cost of obesity related diseases.”
The full article can be found here:
Frighteningly, neuromarketing is a form of mind control. We see it in sales and in politics. We need better legislation to not only restrain the power of marketers, which is immense, but to make the public more aware of how it works on us and how we can resist its powerful persuasion.
Teaching our children how to grow and cook food is a beginning in teaching them to appreciate good food and giving them a better choice. Growing microgreens on a windowsill is a fun way to start.