Childhood Obesity: Should Junk Food be Regulated?|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

Childhood Obesity: Should Junk Food be Regulated?

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG054
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1989 - 2005
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : McDonald's Corporation et al
Industry : Food
Countries : USA, Europe, Australia, Asia

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Kraft Foods, Inc.

Kraft Foods operated in more than 151 countries worldwide. It was the largest branded food and beverage company in North America in 2005 and the second largest in the world. Its century-old brands included Oscar Mayer meats, Maxwell House coffee, and Jell-O gelatin among others...

The Coca-Cola Company

Founded in 1886, Coca-Cola was headquartered in Atlanta, US, and operated in about 200 countries; approximately 70% of its revenues came from operations outside the US. Coca-Cola's non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups were used in the production of about 400 beverage brands...

PepsiCo Inc.

PepsiCo, one of the world's leading food and beverage companies of the world, was formed in 1965 through a merger of Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. As of 2005, its principal businesses included Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Frito-Lay snacks, Tropicana juices, and Quaker Foods...

Some Food for Thought

Junk food is now being perceived as the 'next tobacco'. However, as an industry observer aptly remarked, while one cannot stop tobacco from being unhealthy, food can be made less unhealthy.

Sonya Grier, a professor at Stanford, said, "I don't think any company is intentionally out to make people fat. They just want people to eat more of their products, and one way to do that is through advertising. Advertising creates awareness."

The Centre for Social Marketing at the University of Strathclyde, UK, prepared a report for the Food Standards Agency on the effects of food promotion to children (Refer Exhibit V for conclusions of the report).

With increasing government intervention and amid growing fears of consumers, the food industry needed to review its marketing strategies and promote active lifestyles among children.

This is also a 'food for thought' for governments, including the governments of developing economies, especially the more populous ones that do not have proper regulatory frameworks.


Exhibit I: Standard Definition for Child Overweight and Obesity
Exhibit II: Obesity Statistics in the USA: Age Group 6 - 11 Years
Exhibit III: Obesity Statistics in the USA: Age Group 12 - 19 Years
Exhibit IV: Caffeine Content of Popular Drinks
Exhibit V: The Effects of Food Promotion to Children: Conclusions of a Systematic Review of Research


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