Study finds TV commercials promote junk food to kids

March 29, 2007 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Study finds TV commercials promote junk food to kids

According to researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation more than 40 percent of commercials geared to kids advertise candy, unhealthy snacks and fast food.

To study the number of commercials advertising unhealthy fare, researchers monitored 13 television networks in 2005 and saw 2,613 ads featuring food and drinks that targeted children.

Researchers found that children ages 8 to 12 see the most food ads on TV - an average of 21 per day (or 7,600 per year).  While teenagers saw slightly less, 17 a day (or 6,000 per year), and children ages 2 to 7 saw the least, 12 a day (4,400 per year).

These findings follow 2005 recommendations from the Institute of Medicine that found marketing practices from food and beverage industry are not consistent with healthy diet recommendations and may even put the health of children at risk.

In response, 10 major food and beverage companies, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo Inc. agreed in 2006 to adopt new voluntary rules for advertising saying they would direct at least half of their advertising to promote healthier diets and lifestyles - this has yet to come into effect.

Researchers hope these latest findings will help lead to major changes in terms of what is advertised to children.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.