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Renter reports: "If you think the millions that fast food restaurants spent on commercials don't have a profound effect  on our brains, you may be in for a surprise."

Renter: 'When the logos of these disease promoters like McDonald's are imprinted on the brain before self-control is developed, the results could be tragic.' (photo: unknown)
Renter: 'When the logos of these disease promoters like McDonald's are imprinted on the brain before self-control is developed, the results could be tragic.' (photo: unknown)



Kids' Brains 'Branded' With Fast-Food Logos

By Elizabeth Renter, NaturalSociety

03 February 13

 

f you think the millions that fast food restaurants spent on commercials don't have a profound effect  on our brains, you may be in for a surprise. It turns out their logos are having a serious impact on the brain - in particular, the brains of children.

According to a study from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center, children's brains are being branded early on in life - even before they know how to read. While we can't blame logos solely for the childhood obesity problem, there is little doubt that a the association a child's brain makes with these logos could be having an effect on their relationship with food.

The study analyzed children's brains when being shown food logos. The children, ages 10 to 14, were shown 120 logos - 60 of them food-related and 60 of them non-food-related.  Using MRI technology, the researchers monitored their brains for activity. When shown food logos, the children's brain activity was significantly increased compared to when they were shown non-food logos.

Specifically, the areas of the brain controlling rewards and appetite control "lit up" when shown the food logos, similarly to how they would if they were shown actual food.

To call this "worrisome" (as the researchers did) is putting it mildly.

"Some research finds that children identify the golden arches for McDonald's before they know the letter M," said Dr. Amanda Bruce.

In children, the areas of the brain governing self-control are not yet formed. When the logos of these disease promoters like McDonald's are imprinted on the brain before self-control is developed, the results could be tragic.

According to Bruce:

The theory is the increase in risk-taking behavior in adolescence is attributed to uneven development in brain regions associated with cognitive control and emotional drive. … The brains of children are 'imprinted' with food logos. Without the necessary inhibitory processes to aid in decision-making, youth are particularly susceptible to making poor choices about what to eat.

There is no question that advertising and entertainment are shaping countless people's minds - especially children. In western society, the subconscious mind of the individual is often subject to a number of heavy influences, through entertainment mediums especially. Television, movies, music, and of course, advertisements, create a profound subconscious effect on the human mind that influences and helps to dictate the choices that they will make.

With an estimated 1 in 6 United States children being obese, this is certainly concerning. Add to that the fact that many American parents underestimate the risks of an overweight child, and we have a recipe for raising another obese generation.



Additional Sources:

AlterNet

 

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+13 # brux 2013-02-03 16:48
Great article ... I agree totally, we are being neurologically programmed to be like docile farm animals happy to be led to our .... harvesting. It is time for the sake of humans and life to destroy this sick system and turn it around to benefit all people instead of just an elite evil minority.
 
 
+9 # Dr Binky 2013-02-04 00:37
Here's a concept, gasp. Instead of using the television set as a substitute parent, parents might actually take away the drivel being imprinted onto their children's minds and take the time to exercise their responsibility as parents (what a concept!) to expose their children to decency and values rather than TV commercials. How about a family with sit down dinners instead of fast food restaurants, and after dinner reading instead of television.
 
 
0 # Anarchist 23 2013-02-04 00:23
'The Matrix has you.'
 
 
0 # Doubter 2013-02-04 10:42
'The Matrix has you.'

Through "classical conditioning."
 
 
-6 # lnason@umassd.edu 2013-02-04 07:06
When my toddling pre-reading grandson recognizes the McDonald's logo from afar and excitedly asks to go there, it has nothing to do with food. While we have seldom eaten there -- if only because he and his brother refuse to eat the food and prefer water to soda == the kids love the monkeybars and swings and slides and teeter-totters offered by their playplaces. The love jostling with the other kids for hours on the playground equipment,

The point of this post is merely to warn against jumping to conclusions. The leap one makes may too easily be into the abyss.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+6 # kelly 2013-02-04 13:38
What a bunch of holier-than-tho u B.S. Do you just look for a way to counter an argument? From the old M(or golden arches) to the red and white symbol that says DQ but means Dairy queen but no one reads as Dairy queen, we do have noticeable logos that are less members of the alphabet than dining establishments. It's rather like predisposing our kids to texting. Oh and since only a few McDonald's have the playscapes, your "grandkids" must be awfully disapointed all the time.
 
 
0 # aj616 2013-02-06 13:16
Quoting lnason@umassd.edu:
When my toddling pre-reading grandson recognizes the McDonald's logo from afar and excitedly asks to go there, it has nothing to do with food. While we have seldom eaten there -- if only because he and his brother refuse to eat the food and prefer water to soda == the kids love the monkeybars and swings and slides and teeter-totters offered by their playplaces. The love jostling with the other kids for hours on the playground equipment,

The point of this post is merely to warn against jumping to conclusions. The leap one makes may too easily be into the abyss.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts

So take them to a playground instead. There's other kids and monkey vars and swings and slides there, that your tax dollars paid for.
 
 
+5 # tswhiskers 2013-02-04 09:28
Parents might do well to get and keep a copy of Morgan Spurlock's film, Supersize me. When they watch it, they will learn that it took Morgan 6 mos. to lose the weight he'd gained, that his blood pressure and cholesterol were sky-high at the end of his 30 days eating exclusively at MacDonald's. Yes, kids are gullible and super-sensitive to advertising. But many parents limit the hours per day their children can watch TV, and if you watch with them you can always use the mute button for commercials, or use a DVR and let the kids watch commercial-free TV a bit later. Older kids can be taught that TV ads are dishonest too. This is not a total solution. But any effort to give kids a healthy diet is much better than nothing and pays off in the long run.
 
 
+6 # reiverpacific 2013-02-04 11:37
I practically never eat fast food (I have two that I occasionally use at need but they are not the famous ones) and have been in Mickey D's twice in my life -once I was so hungry-drunk I didn't care- but I'll bet that even my brain is hard-wired to recognition by now after traveling around the country although I avoid strip malls like the plague
I remember my driver in Bandung Indonesia, when we occasionally asked him where he'd like to go for lunch, wanted "KFC Mister" as it was a strange luxury to have these batter-coated, oversized chicken chunks -an almost different animal from the free-ranging, lean and tasty chook running about in his Kampung. So it's not just here.
It is all in the power in this age of marketing and no matter how hard we try to ignore these "Icons" (I'm conned?) they are omnipresent and destructive. I'd especially propose that one of the instincts they are destructive of is youthful creativity, as the vast advertising budgets suck in, entrap and dedicate new employees creativity to using it wastefully and commercially for Corporate enhancement and profit.
Apparently, Nike CEO Phil Knight acquired the universally known and powerful logo from a graphic design student at Portland State University for $35.00. and has been sweat-shopping his way to a fortune ever since.
It's a circle of exploitation and even addiction firmly embedded in the American and global consciousness which makes further exploitation easier.
 
 
0 # aj616 2013-02-06 13:19
European countries have laws restricting marketing to children. Little kids don't know how to deal with the ads and don't always understand it's just trying to make you buy something. Branding is more then trying to make you want to buy something, it's about the brand becoming something that defines you as a person. These ads are aimed at kids because the companies want them to be brand loyal for life.

Anyway if I ever have kids, I'm cancelling the cable.
 

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