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Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World, a popular YouTube channel with over 26 million subscribers.
Kid influencers are marketing junk food and sugary drinks to billions of viewers through product placement, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics found. Researchers analyzed 418 YouTube videos from the five most-watched kid influencers on the platform in 2019 and found that of the 179 videos that featured food or drinks, about 90% promoted unhealthy branded items like fast food.
Those videos were collectively viewed by over 1 billion people and generated 2.6 million likes. “It really was unhealthy brands by a landslide, and that was the most shocking part,” said Marie Bragg, an author of the study and assistant professor of public health nutrition at New York University’s School of Global Public Health and Langone Medical Center. Kid influencers’ parents post videos of their children doing things like playing with toys and unwrapping presents — oftentimes to huge audiences. According to the study, the highest-paid YouTube influencer of 2019 was then 8-year-old Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World. He earned $26 million in advertisements, sponsored posts and product placements. One of Ryan’s videos with 46 million views shows him wearing a hat with a McDonald’s logo pretending to be …
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