Leading obesity experts are considering litigation against the food industry in the light of emerging research suggesting that junk food marketing could hijack a child’s brain.
Neuromarketing is of growing interest to food companies. Fast food, soft drinks and snack companies increasingly interact with children through social media and online games. Some are beginning to probe further, gathering information through brain scans about how unconscious decisions are made to eat one snack rather than another and targeting people’s susceptibilities. A report on food neuromarketing to children by the Centre for Digital Democracy in 2011 predicted “an explosive rise in new tactics targeted especially at young people”.