The average North American child sees about 40,000 television commercials every year. Companies target younger viewers all the time, selling everything from sugar cereals to minivans, and cross-promotional marketing influences everything from the food stocked in school vending machines to the characters who appear in children’s books. Kids are requesting specific brands as soon as they can talk. American corporations spend over billion yearly on marketing to children in an effort to cultivate nagging, insatiable, “cradle-to-grave” consumers.
In this shocking and engrossing exposé, psychologist Susan Linn reveals how the marketing industry preys on kids from the day they’re born, exploiting their vulnerabilities and skewing their values in order to influence what they eat, wear, and play with. This advertising blitz stifles creativity and exacerbates obesity, eating disorders, violence, sexual precocity, and substance abuse. Linn—a mother herself—recognizes that parents alone are no match for the marketing experts. What they need is the concerted help of healthcare professionals, educators, and legislators who have children’s best interests in mind. Consuming Kids is a call to action for anyone who cares about the well-being of children.
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