Fast Food Targeting Black Kids in US

Yahoo! News, November 17, 2014

Fast-food restaurants in the United States are “disproportionately” targeting black children and kids in middle-income and rural areas, according to a newly published study.

Researchers at Arizona State University and University of Illinois at Chicago looked at 6,716 fast-food outlets nationwide to check the extent of indoor and outdoor marketing aimed at youngsters.

Marketing towards children ranged from free toys to ads featuring sports celebrities and cartoon characters, as well as play areas and promotions for kids’ birthday parties.

“Majority black communities, rural areas and middle-income communities are disproportionately exposed (to child-directed marketing) and specifically to indoor displays of kids’ meal toys, a popular strategy among chain restaurants,” the study said.

“In light of these findings, it is important to urge the fast-food industry to limit children’s exposure to marketing that promotes consumption of unhealthy food choices.”



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Lewis33

    Not enough blacks in your advertising = not diverse enough, All blacks in your advertising (looking at you McDonalds) = targeting blacks for destruction. I got it now.

    • none of your business

      Just about every auto insurance company but Geico has blacks advertising it.
      Blacks, rural and middle income; that just about covers all kids doesn’t it? But the article just had to mention black kids as special victims of fast food.
      These writers should take some nutrition classes. Potatoes are just about the most nutritious food around Some Irish ate little else for centuries Many historians claim that the cheap and easy to grow potato contributed to Europe’s population boom starting 1600. It is almost a whole food, like milk but it has iron which is protein.
      Let’s analyze a hamburger. Beef has protein. The tomato has vitamin C which activates the iron in the beef and builds the red blood cells. The bun has carbs and some vitamins and minerals. The lettuce, onion and pickle have vitamins.
      If the meal was a salad, roll, baked potato with butter and a small piece of beef in the form of steak, pot roast, beef tips, ribs or stew the puritans would have no problem. But combine the roll, salad and meat into a hamburger and the puritans have a fit.

      • Tell me about it; we’re trying to use up what’s left of a bag of cheap Idaho spuds from Wal Mart before we go north to visit my mother for Thanksgiving. I am partial to Caesar or chunky bleu cheese dressing in baked potatoes, or mustard and sauerkraut. Bacon, and either fried onions or home-grown chives in either case.

        It actually costs a lot to eat fast-food these days. I guess blacks with the high-powered jobs they always seem to have in Hollywood and TV productions are too busy to cook anything.

        • Betsy Julio

          Question Diversity Carson. you think Richard`s remark is amazing, last week I bought a brand new Mitsubishi Evo after making $9971 this-past/4 weeks and–just over, 10 grand last–month. this is certainly the most-rewarding I‘ve had. I began this 5 months ago and pretty much straight away was bringin in more than $81 p/h. I follow the details on this straightforward website,…C&#97&#x73&#104&#83&#116&#111&#x72&#101d&#46&#x43&#111&#77

        • LexiconD1

          I think this has more to do with fast-food joints take EBT cards. So of course they’re going to target certain segments of society.

          • I thought EBT cards could not be used for the purchase of hot, ready-to-eat food.

          • Who Me?

            Look at the ads on TV or look at the doors of the fast food places as you walk past. They all say “EBT cards welcome”. Also the deli counters at grocery stores.

          • Alexandra1973

            Here in Ohio they can’t. At least not yet.

      • OS-Q

        If I had to live on fast food, I would drink water and try to avoid the fries – I’m sure soda is where most of the non-nutritious calories are from.

        I like the breakfast foods with orange juice, supposedly the juice helps process nutrients in greasy food, though I drink it because that is what I crave with my eggs. I’d rather eat of home of course.

    • JackKrak

      Show me an advertising campaign that isn’t ridiculously overpopulated with blacks and I will show you an advertising campaign from rural Iceland.

      • ElComadreja

        You’d think they were the majority of the population.

  • All hail a new Gap, a freshly minted disproportionality. It’s the french fry gap!

    Let me be the first to be crazy enough to speculate that fast feeders market to black kids because black kids and black non-kids love the fast feeders and think their offerings to be the ne plus ultra of culinary excellence. That said, I have it on good authority that all the fast feeder chains, to the extent that any of their food is “good,” ship the good food to their white locations and send the cruddy food to black ones, because they and everyone else knows that Africanus Bellcurvius will eat anything that comes out of the clown’s head, because they’re lovin’ it.

    But if this really is a problem, there is an easy solution:

    McDonalds should get rid of 365Black.

    • As a university undergrad, I actually worked at a McDamage – I was smart enough to last only ten days – and all the “food” arrives frozen in the same, non-descript brown cardboard boxes. If McDamage is somehow even more disgusting in black areas, this can only be (A) the slovenly negro staff can’t even cook garbage properly when shown videotaped instructions, and (B) because corrupt black city health department personnel are yakking on the phone and drinking coffee all day long instead of doing their jobs.

      • Who Me?

        My daughter got a job at the local McD’s when she was in high school. (She worked with all other white kids, too.) A week after she started, she said, “Mom, you don’t want to EVER eat there…” I think I’ve been there exactly 4 times in the 20 years since.

        • I have never been back since working there, and that has been 29 and-a-half years. It’s just THAT bad.

        • Alexandra1973

          My dad used to call their hamburgers “slimeburgers.”

          We rarely eat fast food anymore. If we do, it’s Taco Bell.

          • WR_the_realist

            The only fast food restaurant I’ll eat at is Subway. It is actually possible to get a sub with a decent selection of fresh vegetables there.

  • MekongDelta69

    Yep – it’s someone else‘s fault!

    [Rhetorical] Q. Is anything on earth blacks‘ fault?
    A. Don’t be silly…

    • Rhialto

      Yes, when an NBA team loses.

  • Mary

    “Disproportionately” targeting black children, rural children, and middle income children? Wouldn’t these categories cover most children? What an incredibly stupid article. Yes, kids like to consume garbage. Good parents regulate that. No need for manufactured drama.

    • I would be very interested in hearing as to how these children – young enough to be lured by cheap toys – acquire the disposable income to binge on McDamage and Garbage King on their own, without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

    • Irishgirl

      When I was little, a Happy Meal with a hamburger and a toy sounded like heaven. But if I asked Mom for that, she’d say, “No, you’re not eating that crap.” I thank her to this day.

      • Lewis33

        “I’ve got hamburger at home, if that’s what you want” was the reply I would get. Thank goodness.

      • I use good 80-20 ground chuck (cheap at Wally World) to make hamburgers at home on toasted sourdough rolls, sometimes with Korean bulgoki sauce and dried, ground chives kneaded into the patties, with kimchi under the top of the roll. My daughter has never asked for a McDamage burger. I’ll bet it is even cheaper to do it this way.

        • Negative Nancy

          I use venison (ground with 30% beef fat, costs me 20 cents per lb), REAL Wisconsin sharp Cheddar, and sesame seed buns- either grilled over Jack Daniels wood chips or fried up in a pan. It beats fast food crap, it’s relatively cheap, and incredibly tasty.

          • WR_the_realist

            I want to get my burgers at your house.

        • Alexandra1973

          I would not get meat at Walmart. I’ve heard even cats won’t touch it.

          There’s a local chain grocery here, they always have this Pick 5 for $19.95 (5 packages of meat), and one week a month you can pick up a sixth item for free.

  • Alexandra1973

    No one’s forcing you to buy it.

    • none of your business

      I think the writer believes that 4 year olds have ten dollars in their wallets and just leave home and walk a couple or several miles to McDonalds and buy the food.
      Parents and baby sitters don’t notice they are gone. No McDonald’s employee, customer or passerby wonders what a 4 year old is doing crossing busy streets or walking down a road or buying a happy meal all alone.
      There are a lot of liberals trying to teach Hispanic and black families how to feed their children lately. There was a lot of nonsense last year about how Hispanic women never feed their kids fruits, salads and vegetables. Numerous grant hustlers formed non profits to teach Hispanics to eat properly. I always thought those non profit hustlers were funded by Jolly Green Giant and the orchard owners associations.
      Just as every ad, movie, TV show or book just has to have a black in it, every newspaper article has to work in a way to mention blacks.
      ” Blizzard predicted how it will victimize blacks in Jackson Hole Wyoming.”

      • LexiconD1

        Well, my local rag had a series of article dedicated to this. I was shocked that some of the kids in the article had never eaten oranges, peaches or plumbs.

        And, the picture, plus names, we all hispanic/Mexican. For the record, I live in a suburb of Los Angeles CA.

        So, I’m, frankly, not surprised at all.

        • Never eaten oranges, while living in SoCal? Something is wrong with that picture!

          • The Worlds Scapegoat

            They need to figure a way to incorporate fruits and vegetables in everyday gang rituals.


  • A Freespeechzone

    WHERE are the parents?

    Oh, that’s right…………

  • Luca

    Let’s see if I understand this correctly. When marketers use toys in their advertisements White children are mysteriously immune to such come-ons, whereas black children immediately become mesmerized, salivating, zombies without any control over their thoughts and actions. Okay, now I get it. Gee that’s just terrible.

    • You get it! I have said it before, but they really are THAT stupid.

    • LHathaway

      What was it the late Andy Rooney once said about advertising? Something like, advertising no-doubt helped grease the skids of commerce/success but enough is enough. I still remember an episode where he poured through stack after stack of magazine advertisements showing how they were all filled with people of color, then he sarcastically noted: “We’re all so much more sensitive now”.

  • Who Me?

    CHILDREN have virtually no money that does not come from their parents. Children cannot FORCE their parents to buy anything the parents refuse to buy. Parents who say, “My kids won’t eat anything else”. BS! They get hungry enough they will. No kid ever starved himself to death for lack of junk food when there were healthy foods available.

  • TruthBeTold

    From my casual observation, fast food restaurants seem to be targeting high traffic areas.

  • AmericanCitizen

    Since children don’t earn money or drive to fast food places, I’m thinking this should be a simple matter of parental responsibility. Then again, parental responsibility is something the black community understands about as well as they understand calculus.

  • John Barleycorn

    THIS is incredulous bullschitt

    • TruthBeTold

      Considering most kids are said to be targeted, yes, it is.

      Do these people even read their own studies?

  • superlloyd

    Blacks’ self destructive impulses can’t be controlled by themselves or their absent parents therefore everyone else is responsible for their failures. Thus more public and private intervention and investment in a bottomless pit of negro failure.

  • LHathaway

    They are also ‘targeting’ us with anti-racism advertising.

  • I have a great idea: the corporate offices of McDamage and other fast-filth purveyors could order their franchise holders to stop serving blacks “because the food is bad for them”. Afterword, we can all enjoy Je$$e Jack$on, Al $harpton & Co. shriek while they defecate masonry.

    • IstvanIN

      we can all enjoy Je$$e Jack$on, Al $harpton & Co. shriek while they defecate masonry.
      In my administration I think I shall name you poet emeritus.

      • Max

        “Poet Enema”

  • John Smith

    Duh, 365Black.

  • RHG

    Once again, advertisers are “damned if they do, damned if they don’t”. If they didn’t feature any blacks in their commercials they would be accused of not caring about black customers. If they feature blacks, then they are accused of targeting them for sinister reasons. You can’t win with them.

    • Max

      There are lawsuits for all occasions.

  • MannyR


  • bilderbuster

    All McDonald’s in Ferguson should be ashamed and shut down.
    There would definitely be riots there if that happened.

  • Alucard_the_last

    Negroes are lazy by nature so they will eat fast food regardless of the commercial. What a retarded study.

  • Three Stars

    Why is this not about a burger cannon?

  • TheGothFather412

    Ok first liberals complain about ‘food deserts’ for minorities. Then when some fast food places come in there and offer some food for minority kids, it is not good enough!

    There is just no making liberals happy! Don’t even try!!!

    • Alexandra1973

      Like they can’t just hop on a bus and go to a grocery store.

      I don’t hear people out in the rural areas complaining about having to go 5 miles to get to the nearest grocery store.

      From Wikipedia: A rural food desert is generally classified as a county where residents must drive more than 10 miles to the nearest supermarket chain or supercenter, whereas an urban food desert is classified as having to drive more than a mile.

      You mean they can’t walk a mile? I have a bad ankle and would walk if necessary. Once upon a time you saw people walking along with those little carts to carry groceries.

  • Who Me?

    Advertising only works on uninformed minds. When my son was about five years old, he saw a beautiful hamburger advertised on TV. And yes, it was a beauty to behold, sizzling patty, ripe red tomato, contrasting fresh green lettuce, thick cheese, fat, fluffy bun, etc. He wanted one, so my husband took both kids off to McDonalds, or Burger King, or Dairy Queen, whatever franchise was being advertised. He ordered them the burgers they’d seen on the ad. Sat down and unwrapped them. My son looked at his burger, and said, “But, but, it doesn’t look like the one on TV.” Lesson learned, at five years old, and not a word having to be said.

    • Max

      This is appropriate to so many situations presented on TV. Real life is never as glamorous as depicted. Take race for example…

  • So let me get this right. If we don’t have blacks in movies or comercials and marketing as a target audiance, they bitch, when they are they bitch…..mmmmmm..

    You say we need to have a conversation about race in America .. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to…. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard.

    And among them are these:
    First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.. Jeremiah Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
    Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream. Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants. Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.
    We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude??
    Obama talks about new ‘ladders of opportunity’ for blacks. Let him go to Altoona ? And Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for ‘deserving’ white kids…? Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ? Is it really white America ‘s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?
    Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?
    As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?
    IsObama aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?
    We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena . And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.
    Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago. This needs to be passed around because, this is a message everyone needs to hear!!!
    OK……….will you pass it on?
    YES. I did
    Because I’m for a better America
    I am
    Not racist,
    Not violent,
    Just not silent anymore.

    • Ohmy!

      Very good comment.