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Appetite. 2011 Apr;56(2):255-60. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.12.010. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

Sex differences in young adults' snack food intake after food commercial exposure.

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Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.,


Exposure to food commercials on television is considered to be related to elevated snack food intake in front of the television. However, this assumed relation has as yet not been fully established. The present study, therefore examined the direct effects of watching television food commercials on concurrent non-advertised snack food intake in young adults. In addition, possible sex differences were investigated. Participants (N=82, 50% male) watched a movie interrupted by two commercial breaks that contained either food commercials or neutral commercials. While watching, they could freely eat crisps and chocolate coated peanuts. Afterwards, participants filled out questionnaires and were weighed and measured. Regression analyses showed that men and women were differently affected by the food commercials. Food intake in women was higher when they watched the food commercials than when they watched the neutral commercials, whereas food intake in men was lower when they watched the food commercials than when they watched the neutral commercials. The results suggest that especially women are vulnerable for eating more snack food when exposed to food commercials.

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