Volume 20, Issue 1, Spring 2006
Food Advertising, Education, and the Erosion of Autonomy
To augment the consumption of the ever growing production of processed foods, food companies are specifically targeting children with their advertisements. Advertising has even infiltrated the educational system in the form of corporate sponsored “educational materials.” This paper discusses the effects such aggressive forms of advertising have on the development of personal autonomy, or self-governance. I argue that the bad reasoning skills such advertisements promote undermine the development of the very abilities children need to become adults capable of making rational choices. A detailed look at several types of food advertisements aimed at children supports this claim.