‘Kidfluencers’ hawk junk food to millions of young followers, raising childhood obesity concerns for parents
Kid influencers are doing toy reviews and taste tests to attract millions of young followers. But despite their entertainment value, many of these YouTube channels are targeting other children with junk food advertisements and brand endorsements from companies like McDonald’s, Hershey’s, and Taco Bell. A new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics analyzed more than 400 YouTube videos and concluded nearly 90 percent of featured snacks were unhealthy foods like soft drinks, fries, and cheeseburgers covered in fast food logos. Studies have shown that children cannot distinguish between commercials and TV shows until they are 8 or 9 years old, making them extremely susceptible to unhealthy marketing, according to The New York Times. Furthermore, experts say these influencers are also raising public health concerns for childhood obesity.