3 April 2023
You will make (conservatively) 200 food decisions every day. We believe we have “choice”, without thinking twice about the influences all around us. Being aware of food marketing is a skill that can help you recognize when foods are being marketed to you and make decisions based on facts not feelings. Still, none of us is immune to the subconscious effects of food advertising. If it didn't work, food manufacturers wouldn't spend $2.54 billion per year on it.
For reference, the CDC has a $1. 43 billion budget for chronic disease prevention and health promotion.
Over 80% of food advertising promotes fast food, sugary drinks, candy, and unhealthy snacks
Then there are environmental factors. We've all heard of the “clean plate club”, but did you know the weight of your waiter might influence whether you order a drink or dessert? Or that food companies trust the power of product placement so much that they pay supermarkets for the prime spot? For many of us, there is also the social media environment – where Tik Tok knows what you want before you do! If you doubt the subliminal effects of all this, I urge you to google “triple dipped chicken social experiment”.
Environmental factors are stacked against us making the healthy choice, especially given that 73% of the US food supply is ultra-processed (typically the types of foods that increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer). But there is something you can do to counteract this stealth (and overt) marketing.
Apparently, making decisions in advance helps people stick to their wellness goals. I encourage you to have a plan(t)!
I'm here to help if you need me.