The connection between obesity and advertising is well known with the latter established as a primary contributor to the former. Especially in the USA, obesity has cultural and political underpinnings that insidiously contribute to obese children and adults. Food consumption decisions have more to do with the food industry than personal preferences, and the influences of these companies shapes consumers' preferences beneath the conscious level of their awareness (Llorente, 2011). McDonald's choice of mascots was a clown, which was obviously a psychological marketing tactic. Childhood learning, motivated by this type of insidious conditioning could contribute to obesity later in life. If children are trained to associate fun and happiness with fast food, they may continue to seek out similar foods, or create eating habits based on these foods later in life (Llorente, 2011).
Billions of dollars are spent each year on marketing fast and convenient foods, which has a tremendous affect on consumers, young and old. Even in grocery stores, companies pay for eye level displays created to grab the attention of consumers (Llorente, 2011). People must relearn how to make healthful decisions regarding food consumption, but in the wake of billion dollar marketing campaigns, and an equal amount spent on political lobbying for the food industry, the sole consumer has little chance against this political power.
Llorente, J. (2011). The Politics of Food: Did You Really Choose What's on Your Plate? Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 3(3), 129-136.