Kids' Appetites for Junk Food Fueled by YouTube Influencers, Study Finds

A recent study has found that YouTube influencers are encouraging unhealthy junk procucts to kids through their videos. The research found that many popular YouTube channels that inspire youngsters are filled with advertisements for high-calorie, low-nutrient meals, including fast food and sugary snacks.

The investigation analyzed the ample range of YouTube videos from famous kids-focused channels and found that a lot of them contained advertising for unhealthy foods. In many cases, the promotion was disguised as content, with influencers eating or preparing the edibles in their videos.

These videos were found to have a significant impact on children's eating habits, with children who watched them more likely to ingest unhealthy snacks and fast food. The study has raised concerns among health experts about the role that YouTube inspires play in promoting harmful foods to children.

Candy appears in 42 percent of branded videos, while sweet/salty snacks (11 percent) and sugary drinks (10 percent) also appear on the influencers' channels and content.

The problem is compounded by the fact that many motivators on YouTube are not subject to the exact regulations of traditional media. While broadcasters and advertisers are required to adhere to strict standards when it comes to promotion to kids, YouTube influencers are not subject to the exact regulations.

As a consequence, many influencers can advertise junk foods to children without any consequences, leading to a situation where youngsters are exposed to unhealthy foods regularly.

This is particularly worrying given the current rates of youth obesity, which have reached epidemic levels in many countries. The World Health Organization has identified childhood diseases as one of the soberest general fitness challenges of the 21st century and has called for urgent action to handle the trial.

Some experts have called for tighter rules on YouTube creators, arguing that they should be subject to the same standards as traditional media when it comes to advertising to children. Others have called on parents to be more vigilant when it comes to monitoring their children's online activity and to be more proactive in teaching them about healthy eating habits.

Many YouTubers have defended their actions, arguing that they are simply giving their audience what they want. However, the University of Liverpool study suggests that this may not be the case, with many youths being uncovered to unhealthy foods simply because they are being promoted by their favorite influencers.

Read next: Over 51% of Indians Still Don’t Use the Internet
Previous Post Next Post