March 22nd, 2011

Study finds that kids are exposed to many ads for fast-food restaurants

The Washngton Post

Do kids deserve a break today?

A study of fast-food marketing to children would suggest they should get a rest from the relentless advertising. It found that in the over-saturated American media environment, children and teens find ads from fast-food restaurants just about everywhere they spend time, including on radio and television, cellphones, Web sites, Twitter and Facebook.

The report, which was prepared by researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Rudd Foundation, also noted that minority children are often exposed to more television ads.

Among the report’s statistics, all dating from 2009:

l The 20 largest fast-food restaurant chains spent $3.8 billion on advertising, the bulk of it on television ads.

l On average, children and teens saw more than 1,000 ads for fast-food restaurants on TV.

l Compared with their white peers, black children were exposed to 56 percent more fast-food ads on TV; black teens, 46 percent more. In each case, much of that difference was attributed by the researchers to more television viewing by African Americans.

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