African-American families with children are more likely tobuy sugary, nutritionally challenged cereal than other demographic groups,according to a study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition andreported by the Yale Daily News.
Why do minorities seem to prefer these sweet treats?Researchers at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that televisionads marketing these sweetened health-killers toward children disproportionatelyaffected minority families’ decisions to buy those products.
For the study, researchers used data collected by the NielsenCompany, a market research group, that contained information about whichdemographic groups bought what products. (Grocery shoppers recorded theirpurchases then submitted that information, as well as income and educationlevel, to Nielsen.) Scientists then compared the purchasing data withinformation about cereal marketing and nutrition collected by a previous RuddCenter study.
Findings showed cereals targeting kids were 13 times morelikely to be purchased than those not marketed at all. In addition, sweetenedkiddy cereals were three times more likely to be bought than those marketedonly to adults. And cereals marketed to families as a whole were 10 times morelikely to sell than those that weren’t.
Why minorities take the bait goes back to TV viewing habits,according to researchers. African-American families watch 50 to 60 percent moreTV than white families. And once the kiddies get a glimpse of the candiedcereals, they don’t stop clamoring for them until Mom and Dad give in and makea purchase.
But instead of focusing on the negative, Rudd researchers lookedon the bright side: They hope this research will push manufacturers to market nutritiouscereals and encourage kids to go for the healthy stuff instead of the sugar-coatedcrunchy whatchamacallits.
Dead set on saying “no weigh” to bad breakfast choices? Click here to learn more about the best breakfasts to start a healthy day.