November 14th, 2013

Advergames targeting children often use foods with empty calories

U.S. researchers find online video games by food marketers called “advergames,” that target children ages 2-11, often use foods with empty calories. Lorraine Weatherspoon and Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam of Michigan State University in East Lansing and colleagues examined 145 such sites with 439 food brands marketed.

The children often see the game described in a publication or on food packaging and then go to the Internet to play the free game. Quilliam said the children might miss that advertising is being used.

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