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Kids are Inundated With Unhealthy Food Ads on TV

by Rajshri on  November 8, 2009 at 10:51 AM Child Health News   - G J E 4
 Kids are Inundated With Unhealthy Food Ads on TV
A new study suggests that kids are being bombarded with unhealthy food ads on television.
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In the study, researchers at the University of California-Davis examined the types of food advertisements seen by children watching English- and Spanish-language American television programs on Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, which are high viewing times for children.

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Recordings were made of programs on twelve networks including highly rated children's cable channels Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Kids' WB, networks that appeal to older youths (MTV, BET), mainstream English-language channels ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and UPN, and Univision and Telemundo, the two highest rated Spanish language channels.

Out of 5,724 commercials recorded, 1,162 were food-related, with 91.2 percent of food promotions in English, and 8.7 percent in Spanish. Only 1 commercial was bilingual.

Overall, nearly 1 in 5 advertisement was for a food or nutrition-related product, with 5.2 food advertisements presented every hour.

Fast-food restaurants, sugary food, chips/crackers, and sugar-added beverages collectively accounted for more than 70 percent of food commercials; 34 percent were for "food on the run," fast-food restaurants and convenience food.

The researchers found that children's networks had the highest percentage of food-related commercials. Food advertisements were predominately for sugary cereals and sweets, high fat food, convenience or fast-food restaurant food, and chips/crackers.

When compared to television for a general audience, children's networks in this study exposed young viewers to 76 percent more food commercials per hour than did the other networks, with the Saturday morning 7-10 AM time slot being more saturated with food commercials.

Approximately 7.7 food commercials per hour appeared in programming on the children's networks, which is approximately 1 food commercial every 8 minutes

The study has been published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour.

Source: ANI
RAS
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