Eat This! How Fast-Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and How to Fight Back) by A. Curtis
Curtis, Andrea. Eat This! How Fast-Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and How to Fight Back). Illustrated by Peggy Collins. Red Deer Press, 2018.
Andrea Curtis’s first children’s book was What’s for Lunch? What school children Eat around the World, and her latest book Eat This!: How fast Food marketing gets you to buy junk (and how to fight back) is written for the modern family. It talks about product placement, ads on the internet, the all-natural myth of orange juice and more. Even though this book is word-heavy (there is a glossary) there are bright colourful pictures, by Peggy Collins, accompanying almost every page. However, they cannot show the advertising of the actual products they want to talk about. So a box of frosted flakes becomes sugar rings with a tiger mascot, and any clown can represent McDonald's.
Intermittently, it has real-world examples of people fighting fast-food marketing around the world. For example, the Game Changer campaign in Australia, which focuses on the ads in cricket for junk food, alcohol, and gambling. At the end of the book, there is a list of things to try to challenge fast food and marketing strategies. Their goal is to get the reader engaged with what they have just read, offering examples such as potlucks that celebrate diversity, or observing your favourite show for product placement.
There are also multiple facts sprinkled into the book like how part of Philadelphia's soda tax is used for improving parks, or how Peru has banned junk food in schools. Overall the book discusses an important topic that is all too relevant in the age of the internet. Better yet, its goal is getting children to engage with advertising in a critical way. Children will benefit from the book, as it explains how advertisers don’t always have our best interests at heart and can help open a dialogue with adults on the subject.
Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Kaia MacLeod
Kaia MacLeod, a member of the James Smith Cree Nation, is an MLIS candidate at the University of Alberta. Her bachelor’s degree was in Film Studies, which she sometimes likes to call a degree in “movie watching,” she enjoys exploring how folklore is represented on film and in online content.
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