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TV Ads For Unhealthy Foods Have A Significant Negative Impact On Kids

June 27, 2011: 11:03 AM EST
Children who see a lot of television ads for unhealthy food are more likely to want to eat high-fat and high-sugar foods, according to a study by British researchers. For the study, researchers showed 281 children aged six to 13 years old five minutes of commercials for toys and then snacks and fast foods before an episode of a popular TV cartoon. The children were then asked to pick the foods they would like to eat from lists of various branded and unbranded food items. The researchers found that children were more likely to choose unhealthy (fat- and carbohydrate-rich) foods after watching the food commercials. And children who watched more than 21 hours of television a week were more likely to be affected by the food ads.
Emma J. Boyland, Ph.D., et al., "Food Commercials Increase Preference for Energy-Dense Foods, Particularly in Children Who Watch More Television", Pediatrics, June 27, 2011, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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