YouTube influencers as young as 3 endorsing unhealthy brands

Young children are seeing unhealthy food and drink brands on YouTube through kid influencers. These influencers, as young as 3 years old, generate millions of likes while interacting with unhealthy branded items, particularly fast food and confectionery.

The results are from a recent study of 5 of the most viewed channels on YouTube and quantified food and/drink product placements in a sample of 418 videos. Average age of the 9 influencers was 7.3 years. Over 40% of the kid influencer videos viewed featured food and/or drinks and 90% of the food and drink found was branded unhealthy food. This is clearly unhealthy food marketing to children and must be captured in any regulation to protect children from food marketing.

 

Alruwaily A, Mangold C, Greene T, Arshonsky J, Cassidy O, Pomeranz JL, et al. Child Social Media Influencers and Unhealthy Food Product Placement. Pediatrics. 2020;146(5):e20194057

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