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Appetite. 2014 Oct;81:277-83. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.017. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Children's knowledge of packaged and fast food brands and their BMI. Why the relationship matters for policy makers.

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University of Oregon, 1208 University of Oregon, Lundquist College of Business, Eugene, OR 97403, USA. Electronic address:
Michigan State University, 404 Wilson Road, Room 327, Communication Arts and Sciences Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
Ann Arbor Public Schools Preschool and Family Center, 2775 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA.


Studies regarding the advancing challenges of obesity in many countries are beginning to converge on the importance of early food exposure and consumption patterns. Across two studies (Study 1, 34 boys, 35 girls; Study 2, 40 boys, 35 girls, ages 3-6), child knowledge of brands offering products high in sugar, salt and fat was shown to be a significant predictor of child BMI, even after controlling for their age and gender and when also considering the extent of their TV viewing. Additionally, two different collage measures of brand knowledge (utilized across the two studies) performed similarly, suggesting that this measure may be serving as a surrogate indicator of an overall pattern of product exposure and consumption. Policy implications are discussed.


Advertising; Children; Consumption patterns; Food preference; Marketing; Obesity

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