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Public Health Nutr. 2008 Sep;11(9):897-904. Epub 2007 Nov 16.

Beyond-brand effect of television food advertisements on food choice in children: the effects of weight status.

Author information

  • 1Kissileff Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behaviour, School of Psychology, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Bedford Street South, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZA, UK. j.c.g.halford@liverpool.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of television food advertising on children's food intake, specifically whether childhood obesity is related to a greater susceptibility to food promotion.

DESIGN:

The study was a within-subject, counterbalanced design. The children were tested on two occasions separated by two weeks. One condition involved the children viewing food advertisements followed by a cartoon, in the other condition the children viewed non-food adverts followed by the same cartoon. Following the cartoon, their food intake and choice was assessed in a standard paradigm.

SETTING:

The study was conducted in Liverpool, UK.

SUBJECTS:

Fifty-nine children (32 male, 27 female) aged 9-11 years were recruited from a UK school to participate in the study. Thirty-three children were normal-weight (NW), 15 overweight (OW) and 11 obese (OB).

RESULTS:

Exposure to food adverts produced substantial and significant increases in energy intake in all children (P < 0.001). The increase in intake was largest in the obese children (P = 0.04). All children increased their consumption of high-fat and/or sweet energy-dense snacks in response to the adverts (P < 0.001). In the food advert condition, total intake and the intake of these specific snack items correlated with the children's modified age- and gender-specific body mass index score.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that obese and overweight children are indeed more responsive to food promotion, which specifically stimulates the intake of energy-dense snacks.

PMID:
18005487
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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