James A. Ritchie wrote:If advertising changes our eating habits, it's only because the advertised foods appeal to most people, and taste pretty darned good. It's new food products that have changed our eating habits, not the fact that the foods are advertised. When I was a kid, most of today's food didn't even exist, but fast food was just as popular then as it is now, if you lived in a place that had a fast food restaurant.
But whether it's fast food, sugary cereal, or you name it, people eat it because they like it, not because it gets advertised on TV. A person may try something because of an advertisement, but they won't keep eating it unless they really enjoy it.
And advertising has been around since long, long before TV. What wasn't around then was the technology to make all the foods we now have cheaply and quickly. People simply do not eat whatever it is they eat because it's advertised. They eat what they eat because they like the food.
I didn't grow up with pop in the house, either, but I also didn't grow up in a cave. By the time I was ten or eleven, I was old enough to go buy my own with money I earned. A Coke only cost five cents. So did a candy bar. Vending machines for pop started in the late thirties, but anyone who lived in a town of any size could find pop, cigarettes, and ice cream within a short walk. I grew up in a town of only one hundred people, and I could buy all three, plus candy, without going near a vending machine, and without walking more than a quarter of a mile.
You can't advertise something that doesn't exist, and advertising won't sell something that most people don't like. People have loved Coke since it was first created, and drank all sorts of naturally fizzy things long before this. All advertising does is tell you what's in a store, and may convince you to try it, but can't make you like it. And, honestly, most fast food is at least as healthy as those old home-cooked meals people love to talk about. I grew up eating home cooked meal, and there was always enough fat and cholesterol on the table to clog about a thousand arteries. The same was true at school. Everything was cooked in lard or bacon fat, fried foods were served at almost every meal, and breakfast alone could kill a horse.
Personally, I'm glad for all the food choices we have now, and I'm glad they advertise them. It beats walking around a giant supermarket trying to find something new.
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