When food marketing hits home

Parents and kids share their real-life experiences with food ads
Mom and young daughter shopping in dairy aisle of supermarket.

We asked Canadian parents, kids and researchers to share their experiences with food and beverage marketing. Here’s what they had to say. 

Kristina Casey

“We would go to the grocery store and my children would want to buy a cartoon character package —not necessarily because of what the food was, but because of what the package was.”
Kristina Casey, parent 

My parents didn’t buy junk food. The only time I ate pizza, cake or Cheezies with orange food dye was at a friend’s birthday party.That changed when I entered high school. I had the freedom to buy the foods I wanted. And I gravitated to the unhealthy foods I knew from TV — foods that I thought were cool.” — Nathan Sing, age 18, student 

 Jamie Damak

“I find my kids are mostly influenced by the way certain foods are displayed at groceries and other stores. All these chocolate bars and candies right next to the checkout. Also, more and more, the big stores make us wait in a lineup where we are surrounded by all sorts of products, including candy, chocolate bars, soft drinks etc.”
Jaime Damak, parent and blogger, Je suis une maman 

Leah Chaulk

“When my youngest son was playing hockey, everything Sidney Crosby did, he had to do. If Sidney Crosby ate a peanut butter sandwich, Jordan had to have a peanut butter sandwich.”Leah Chaulk,parent


“When I see [ads] multiple times they start to get in my head.”
Thomas Simonson, age 10

“I am a parent of two elementary aged children. I am very happy to hear the federal government supports restricting the marketing of junk food to kids. Children are uniquely vulnerable to marketing tactics of junk food companies, partly because of their growth and development (they are sponges for anything bright, colourful and fun but they lack the cognitive development to understand the messages), and partly because children are so boldly and frequently targeted by these companies.”— Brenda Kent, parent

  • How has food and beverage marketing affected your family? Share your story with @HeartandStroke #Marketing2Kids