AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: Advertising

Snacks That Smile Back…No More!

Throughout the world, child obesity is a global issue that has gone on for many years. With very few signs of progress, many people around the world are struggling to find innovative ways to save this worldwide problem. As more and more kids interact with many of these social media platforms including: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, many fast food chains use this as an opportunity to spread the word about their food. Disregarding the foods and beverages of high fat, sugar, and salt(HFSS) could be one of the leading factors to the growing percentage with children who suffer with obesity. As part of U.K. government’s plan to limit child obesity through 2030, the article states that the government is “considering limitations on television advertising for HFSS products between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.”.

This picture displays common junk food found in commercials.
This picture displays common junk food found in commercials.

The Study

Throughout this study, researchers used data on children’s exposure to HFSS advertising during the controlled hours(5:30 a.m.— 9 p.m.), as well as previously published information on the association between exposure to HFSS and children’s calorie intake in order to trigger a decrease in children being exposed to HFSS food. As the experiment was conducted, the ending results concluded that if all advertising containing foods with HFSS were to be limited or even terminated, 3.7 million children in the U.K. would experience on average 1.5 fewer advertisements per day, as well as decrease there calorie intake by an average of 9.1 kcal. The article states that these findings “would reduce the number of children aged 5 through 17 with obesity by 4.6% and the number of children overweight by 3.6%”. This data is equivalent to 40,000 fewer U.K. children who struggle with obesity and over 120,000 fewer children who classify as overweight. It it important to keep in mind that this study only focuses on the direct impact of HFSS advertising on children’s calorie intake and not the changing of children dietary preferences and habits.

Why is this Important?

This study proved that implementing a certain time frame throughout the day(5:30 a.m. -9 p.m.) to potentially reduce the exposure of less-healthy food(HFSS) advertising could provoke a valuable contribution towards not only protecting the future health of children who live in the U.K., but children all over the world. As children are becoming more connected with social media, it’s hard to avoid the mass amount of advertisements displayed throughout all these sites. “children now consume media from a range of sources, and increasingly from online and on-demand services,” says Dr. Oliver Mytton, researcher at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) at Cambridge University.

Many of these less-healthy food options contain saturated Fats. These fats have fatty acid chains with “single-bonds” between carbons. This allows chains to pack closely together forming a solid, which are less healthy to consume due to the formation of plaques in blood vessels. These fatty foods also contain lots of carbohydrates as well. When consuming an excessive amount of carbs, your blood sugar levels can get too high. This leads to your body creating more insulin, which tells your body to store extra glucose as fat, making the person gain more weight, as well as lead to other major health issues.

I believe that obesity is a prevalent issue throughout our world, and the more studies and experiments we conduct to try and prevent this condition, the more healthy our world can become. What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Ethics of Advertising Cosmetic Surgery

Ethics of Advertising Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has transformed over the years from mainly consisting of correctional procedures, to becoming a 16 billion dollar industry as of 2016.

The first true cosmetic surgeon Gaspare Taliagozzi, believed that the purpose of cosmetic surgery was to “restore to wholeness the features which nature gave but chance destroyed, not that they may charm the eye but that they may be an advantage to the living soul….The end for which the physician is working is that the features should fulfill their offices according to nature’s decree.” Especially because of the previously deadly risks of many of the cosmetic procedures we now find commonplace, it was unimaginable that cosmetic surgery would ever become a norm for a society. Now that it cosmetic surgery is so ubiquitous, it leads us to question the many ramifications that come from publicly promoting it.

Ramifications and Roots of Popular Procedures

Many popular cosmetic procedures such as Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and Rhinoplasty (“nose jobs”) are actually deeply rooted in racism and anti-semitism. Blepharoplasty is the most popular cosmetic surgery in Asia, and it consists of adding a crease in the eyelid. This procedure gained popularity during the westernization of Japan, when the first surgeon to implement it, Mikamo, stated that single eyelids were “monotonous and impassive”, while double eyelids were more appealing. On one hand, Blepharoplasty is used to improve problems with vision, but it is also done to “fix” the race-based insecurities caused by the cosmetic surgery industries’ advertisements. 

Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014“.

Rhinoplasty is also a common surgery, which was initially done by most surgeons to “save” the patient from the stigma of resembling Jews, despite the fact that it initially left external scarring. Despite the part of the Hippocratic Oath that states “Do no harm,” many physicians continue to execute purely superficial surgeries despite their many risks that can even include the chance of losing vision as in Blepharoplasty.  


 Oftentimes, advertisers for such surgeries will have to prey on the insecurities of everyone exposed to their very public advertisements to make their procedure seem more desirable, which is why it is no wonder that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance. Are we really willing to sacrifice the mental wellbeing of millions for the mere sake of capitalism? Do these types of advertisements reinforce eurocentric beauty standards?  

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