YouTube influencers as young as three endorse unhealthy brands

Young children see 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 five of the most viewed channels on YouTube, looking at food and/drink product placements in 418 videos. The average age of the nine influencers studied was 7.3 years. Over 40% of the kid influencer videos viewed featured food and/or drinks and 90% of the food and drink was unhealthy, branded 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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