December 19th, 2013

Serving kids an unhealthy helping of junk food via television advertising

TV shows aimed at kids are accompanied by advertisements for less-healthy food, according to a study published today, December 18, 2013. Are these unhealthy ads increasing kids’ susceptibility to less-optimum food choices? The researchers in this study, completed at the University of Illinois, Chicago, compared ads in television programming in 2009.

They used information from the Nielsen reports, and analyzed the nutritional data from products advertised during different time slots. What did the researchers find? That programming aimed at kids contained advertising for products significantly lower in nutritional value. According to the University of Illinois press release, “On children’s programming, more than 95 percent of ads were for products high in those unhealthy contents.”

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