New research finds that ads for junk food on television are disproportionately targeting young people who are Latino and African American, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The new report published by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut finds that “African American children and teens in the U.S. are more than twice as likely to see an advertisement for candy and soda on TV than their white counterparts,” the Times reports.
Further, “healthier foods that are often seen in television ads for the general population, like yogurt, are unlikely to appear on TV channels targeted to African American and Latino viewers, according to the report,” the Times notes.
Jennifer Harris, the study’s lead researcher, said: “Black and Latino kids have higher rates of obesity and other diet-related diseases. If the [food] companies are purchasing more advertising in [ethnically] targeted media, then they could actually be contributing to the health disparities in these communities with their marketing practices.”
The Times report adds that disparities in obesity rates extend into adulthood, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says 47.8% of African American adults are obese, with the figure being 42.5% among Latinos and 32.6% among whites.