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TV Ads Deter Weight Control

TV Ads Deter Weight Control Food advertising on television increases automatic snacking on available foods in children and adults, according to a series of experimental studies conducted by researchers from Yale University.

Snacking is believed to be a major factor in the obesity crisis with children often a key target.

The research appears in the July issue of the journal Health Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association.

In one experiment, seven- to 11-year-old children who watched a cartoon that included food commercials ate 45 percent more snack food while watching the show than children who watched the same cartoon with non-food commercials.

From only a half hour of television viewing a day, the increase in snacking caused by food advertising would lead to a weight gain of nearly 10 pounds a year, unless mitigated by reduced consumption of other foods or increased physical activity.

In a second experiment, the researchers found that adult participants exposed to unhealthy food advertisements in TV programming also ate significantly more than those who saw ads with a nutrition or healthy food message. Additionally, these effects persisted after the television viewing.

In the experiments with both children and adults, food advertising increased eating for all available foods, even foods that were not specifically presented in the advertisements.

“This research shows a direct and powerful link between television food advertising and calories consumed by adults and children,” said lead author Jennifer Harris, PhD, Director of Marketing Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.

“Food advertising triggers automatic eating, regardless of hunger, and is a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic. Reducing unhealthy food advertising to children is critical.”

Source: Yale University

TV Ads Deter Weight Control

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2016). TV Ads Deter Weight Control. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/07/02/tv-ads-deter-weight-control/6874.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Jul 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jul 2016
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