Youngsters have written an open letter addressing influencers on all social media platforms to stop promoting unhealthy food because it is putting children’s health in danger.
Bite Back 2030, a youth-led anti-childhood obesity campaign shared the letter with inews.
“Junk food is being given a starring role in our minds by people like you, and our health is at risk as a result. We want you to pledge to stop posting ads for fast food online.”
The letter continued on how influencers should be using their platform and presence to promote positivity and shine the spotlight on healthy eating habits.
“It’s not right that you’re paid to promote a lie when you have the power to tell the truth. We are asking you to use your influence to have a positive impact on thousands of young people; to use your stories to put healthy eating in the spotlight.”
According to Bite Back 2030, influencer marketing is said to be worth around $10 billion, with food being the second largest and most active sector.
The campaigners stated that with 3.3 million UK children suffering from obesity by the age of 11, it was wrong of influencers to promote junk and fast food.
Gigi Hadid, a model, and Instagram influencer, was criticized earlier this year when she posted a photo of herself holding fries, sponsored by McDonald’s.
A study also showed that children who saw famous internet personalities and influencers promote fatty snacks had an increase of 26% in calories compared to those who did not.
Dr. Alex George, an influencer who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and a supporter of the Bite Back 2030 campaign, said food advertising is all over influencers’ profiles.
“Everyday you see someone or other advertising a junk food product or drink. If you see these people on Instagram with six packs, and they’re advertising junk food, they’re clearly not eating that all the time,” he said.
Dr. George posted a social experiment held by Back Bite 2030 on Instagram, where eight young people were shown fast food ads for ‘triple dipped chicken’ without being told about it. All eight opted for the same ‘triple dipped chicken’.
The Doctor said that he was very shocked at how easy it was to manipulate the human mind. But he also believed that influencers who promote food products and energy drinks were not doing it to cause harm, but were unaware of the harm their actions can have.