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TV Bombards Us with Ads for Food

The next time you watch television take note of the number of commercials about food. A recent study found that in 96 half-hour blocks of preschool programming on Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network there were a total of 130 food-related advertisements. Children see nearly 5,000 TV food ads every year, and teenagers get bombarded by almost 6,000 annually.

But the food ads aren't just for kids. In an experiment conducted by Yale University researchers, adults who saw TV ads for unhealthy foods ate much more than those who saw ads that featured messages about good nutrition or healthy food. During the 2012 Winter Olympics, one observer noted that about half of all the ads were about food, most often for fast-food restaurants. When you add to that the rise of reality shows centered on cooking and restaurants, it seems that we are obsessed with food and eating.

Exposure to this barrage of food ads is often implicated in the rise of obesity rates, but it also has a huge impact on the spiritual discipline of fasting. In other words, it's tough to fast when you're constantly bombarded by the lure of food in our culture.

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