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The effect of advertisement on the youth has been a controversial topic of discussion. While some think that advertisements have a pervasive influence on young people, others think they don’t. On television alone, it is said that nearly 40000 advertisements are released per year. This is not to include the internet, schools, or the media (Hornik, 2002). Exposure to such advertisements has been linked to alcohol and cigarette use. In addition, these advertisements have been linked to the poor eating habits that most young people have. Some young people take what they see on these advertisements as the truth and conform themselves to what they have seen. Through various advertisements, this essay seeks to see the impact of them on young people.
Advertisements have resulted in the rise of tobacco use in young people. It is said that the industry employs nearly 30 million dollars everyday on their advertisements. Though these companies state that their advertisements are only for adults, most young people find their way to view them. Directly, these companies target young people to view their advertisements. This is because young people will ensure that they buy their products. Young people, who are exposed to such advertisements, may be more influenced to use tobacco for leisure. This may be more than those who have their close members taking tobacco. Research conducted has discovered that youths who watch those advertisements will definitely become smokers too. Most companies employ various major mediums like the radio, internet, magazine, or television to send their messages (Hornik, 2002). These companies employ advertisements to change the public perception of their products. Currently, the employment of tobacco by young people has been an issue of concern amongst the health practitioners. If this trend keeps on, nearly 250 million children will pass away as a result of diseases linked to TB.
Tobacco advertisements are mainly directed towards young people. These companies employ various strategies to ensure that young people are reached by their advertisements. For instance, these companies may sponsor various school programs or occasions to advertise themselves. In addition, they place their clearly visible advertisements near school playgrounds. These companies take their time to ensure that they have advertised their products in magazines that are youth oriented. The companies have gone further to place their advertisements on movies that are viewed by young people (Hornik, 2002). Some cigarette companies employ sports to be able to find customers. Brand names of tobacco have been employed to sponsor such occasions. By associating themselves with what young people love, these companies influence the behavior of young people for the worst.
Advertisements have resulted in the increase in obesity amongst the youth. Food companies spend nearly 2.5 billion dollars every year in advertising food products. Statistics show that nearly half of all the advertisements that come on TV are food advertisements. These types of food have a lot of calories and sugars that bring obesity. Obesity is a health anomaly where the body of an individual gains body fats in excess. This situation affects both, children and adult’s mental and health (Issue Brief, 2004). Like the tobacco industry, these food industries target young people to buy their products. Currently, obesity has been declared as a health issue that is very serious. Obesity may result in other diseases like high blood pressure, challenges in sleeping, and diabetes. Advertisements increase the amount of time that children spend watching television. The more these young people expose their minds to such advertisements, the more they are at risk of being obese. The fast foods, processed meat have a weight that is excess, which, when consumed, can result in obesity. The advertisements are a vital tool employed in governing the diet and product preference of young people.
Advertisements affect the morality of young people. Many commercials have been known to employ sex on nearly all their products. This exposure to sex may make young people engage in sexual activities while they are still young. Consequently, this may result in high rate of pregnancies amongst young adults and sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, advertisements have resulted in the rise of poor self-image amongst the youths. For instance, young girls desire to be anorexic in a bid to maintain their body figure (Miller & Heather, 1998). This is because advertisements portray a picture that being slim is the perfect image. Young men have been informed on the latest brands of alcoholic drinks through advertisements. This has made them relevant to their peer groups.
However, advertisements are important because they enable the products that are on the market to be made know to the public. This makes the work of consumers very easy because they know what to buy. Advertisements are crucial as they assist young people in getting aware of the sexual diseases that exist. This will enable them take precaution when they engage in sexual activities. In addition, advertisements are important as they can be employed to influence young people to participate in sporting activities. This will help them to keep fit and be healthy (Eldin & Golanty, 2009). Advertisements can be employed to inform young people on the healthy foods that they should eat. By employing advertisements positively, young people get assistance on how to get their eating habits in shape. A commercial that shows young people on the effect of smoking is good because it makes young people realize the impacts such products have on their health.
However, it is very clear that advertisements have a negative impact on the lives of young people. The big companies make money at the expense of young people’s lives. Advertisements have contributed to the rise of alcohol and tobacco abuse by young people. In addition, many young people have lost their identity because of advertisements. Therefore, it is imperative that young people be educated on the effects of advertisements on their lives. In addition, a curriculum ought to be developed so that young people become aware of the harmful side of media. This will limit the negative impact that advertisements have had on young people.