Social Media Influences Food Habits of Children

Recently, the Pediatrics journal published a study that proves social media has a negative impact on the food habits of children. Researchers from the University of Liverpool carried out this study. Children these days can easily access television and the internet that largely influences their eating preference.  In fact, celebrity endorsing unhealthy food makes children more vulnerable towards unhealthy food habits. YouTube bloggers or vloggers also have effect on children’s eating preferences. 

Vloggers Play a Crucial Role 

According to Ofcom data, children in the U.K. access the internet more than ever before. Most children between the age group of 8 and 11 have online access. Among these, 18% children have a social media account and 77% use YouTube. About 99% children between 12 and 15 browse online and 89% use YouTube.  Children in both these age groups follow vloggers.

The results were justified more, when Anna Coates, a doctorate student from the appetites and obesity group in the University observes in a study. She correlated the effect of social media marketing of snack with an Instagram page of vloggers on child’s snack intake. Totally, 176 children in three groups took part in the study. In the first group, children saw lookalike images of unhealthy snack. While in the second group, they saw healthy snacks. Children in the third group saw images of non-food products.

The result did not reflect any remarkable difference in the total intake (in kcal) between children who saw snack images and those did not. Children of the second group ate 32% more while consuming unhealthy snacks.

Vloggers have more impact on children than celebrities. As a result, children seem to trust vloggers more than celebrities, shows celebrity endorsement data. Therefore, if a vlogger markets unhealthy food, it is likley to have immediate impact on children.

In addition, the results also show that marketing healthy food has no or little effect on children. Due to this, stringent regulation is required for marketing unhealthy food especially when children are the target audience.

Author: Rohit Bhisey

As Head of Marketing at TMR Research, Rohit brings to the table over a decade of experience in market research and Internet marketing. His dedication, perseverance, and passion for perfection have enabled him to achieve immense success in his field. Rohit is an expert at formulating new business plans and strategies to help boost web traffic. His interests lie in writing news articles on technology,healthcare and business.

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