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Appetite. 2013 Mar;62:236-41. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.01.032. Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Television advertising and branding. Effects on eating behaviour and food preferences in children.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZA, United Kingdom.


Television provides one of the first, and most intimate, experiences of commercial food promotion. Therefore, unsurprisingly, the effects of television advertising on children's brand preferences are well established. However, its effect on actual food intake and the food choices in children of various weight statuses has only recently been characterised. Despite regulation, children in the UK are exposed to considerable numbers of food adverts on television. These are predominantly for foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), which are marketed to children using promotional characters and themes of fun. Such adverts have been shown to cause significant increases in intake, particularly in overweight and obese children, and enhanced preference for high carbohydrate and high fat foods in children who consume the greatest amounts of televisual media.

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