Is it Ethical to Market Fast Food To Children?

Mark Luluan

Children in our society are exposed to increasing amounts of advertising through television. As the demands of supporting a family increase, more and more American children now spend more time glued to the tube than with their parents.
Recently McDonald’s has come under fire for its advertising practices. Last month Center for Science in the Public Interest indicated that it would sue McDonald’s the corporation continued to place toys in their Happy Meals. This agitation reflects a growing concern among Americans about the effects of advertising on the nation’s youth.
While McDonald’s defends its practices by indicating that Happy Meals provide a “fun treat” for children, they also represent and incentive that draws our youth towards pressuring their parents to buy McDonald’s or other similarly marketed products.
While we do not suggest that the Federal Government engage in the creation of a “nanny state” to police the each and every attempt by the business community to sell their products, we are concerned when the business community markets their products to children.
It is our position that any consumers such as children, that neither earn a wage nor or are experienced enough to make an educated purchase, must not be exposed to advertisement or incentives that indoctrinate them into pressing a purchase on their parents or guardians.
Granted that Happy Meal toys are an innocuous diversion for this nation’s youth, when looking to what would satisfy the greater good it would be wise for the Federal Government to look into regulating the advertising material our nation’s youth find themselves exposed to.