Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:42 pm Post subject: Fast Food as Mind Control in Children?
Can fast food act as a sort of mind-control factor on children? The answer is yes, according to a new study, and in fact, researchers say, the fast food companies have succeeded in essentially brainwashing an entire generation.
According to research teams at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center suggests that a child's brain could be imprinted with fast-food restaurants' logos and brands.
The study utilised MRI technology to monitor the brain activity of children between the ages of 10 and 14. Kids were shown a series of 120 widely popular, very recognizable logos - some of which were fast food related and some which were not.
The study, called the "Neuroeconomics of Controversial Food Technologies," found that so-called reward processing centres and regions of the brain devoted to driving and/or controlling appetite jumped with activity when the kids saw the fast food logos, but not when they saw logos of other brands.
"Research has shown children are more likely to choose those foods with familiar logos," Dr Amanda Bruce, who led the study, told The Independent newspaper. "That is concerning because the majority of foods marketed to children are unhealthy, calorifically-dense foods high in sugars, fat and sodium.
"The theory is the increase in risk-taking behaviour in adolescence is attributed to uneven development in brain regions associated with cognitive control and emotional drive," she said.
The study, which comes following comments by British politician, Chris Brewis, who likened fast food to child abuse, is noteworthy for a number of reasons, not the least of which is this: America is in the throes of an obesity epidemic, led in large part by bad dietary decisions.
Fast food restaurants represent the worst of those.
"The brains of children are 'imprinted' with food logos. Without the necessary inhibitory processes to aid in decision-making, youth are particularly susceptible to making poor choices about what to eat," Bruce told the paper.
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