How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Report: Black, Latino kids see more fast food ads

Photo by waltarrrrr/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A McDonalds's ad in Spanish on an MTA train in Los Angeles, December 2008

The Salud Today blog dug this morsel out of a new report from the Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity:

Hispanic preschoolers see 290 Spanish-language fast food TV ads each year. McDonald’s is responsible for 25% of young people’s exposure to Spanish-language fast food advertising.

There's more. From the report, titled Fast Food FACTS: Evaluating Fast Food Nutrition and Marketing to Youth:
There is considerable evidence that exposure to marketing for fast food is even higher among African American and Hispanic youth. African American youth view almost 50% more TV advertisements for fast food than do white children and adolescents. Although differences in advertising exposure can be attributed in large part to the greater amount of time that African American and Hispanic youth spend watching television, fast food restaurants appear to disproportionately target African Americans and Hispanics with their marketing efforts. For example, fast food ads appear more frequently during African American-targeted TV programming than during general audience programming.

Fast food advertisements are also prevalent on Spanish-language television networks, comprising nearly half of all ads. Billboards for fast food restaurants appear significantly more often in low-income African American and Latino neighborhoods.

Fast food restaurants located in poorer African American neighborhoods also promote less-healthful foods and have more in-store advertisements compared to restaurants in more affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods.


The scarcity of healthy food options in low-income neighborhoods - a phenomenon dubbed "food deserts" - continues to be a problem in portions of Los Angeles County that are predominantly Latino and African-American. Community activists in South L.A. succeeded in obtaining a temporary moratorium on the development of new stand-alone fast food restaurants, which expired recently; community groups and city officials are still trying to work out a permanent solution.
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