Food Is Most Advertised Product on TV Viewed by Kids

From The National Academies:Food

A new study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children of all ages are being exposed to TV commercials for junk foods at an alarming rate. The study concluded that children 8 to 12 years old viewed the most food ads, an average of 21 a day or more than 7,600 per year. The study also examined exposure among other age groups. Teens viewed approximately 17 food ads per day or over 6,000 a year, while children ages 2 to 7 saw about 12 ads a day or 4,400 a year. The study, considered the largest ever done on television advertising aimed at kids, had researchers look at and analyze ads during 1,638 hours of TV programming on such networks as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, the Cartoon Network, Disney, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

Vicky Rideout, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and co-author of the study, said that one thing she found to be significant about the study’s findings was “that most of the food ads that kids see on TV today are for foods that nutritionists would argue children probably need to be eating less of, not more of, if we’re going to get serous about tackling childhood obesity in this country … things like sugared cereals, candies, chips, fast foods, sodas, and soft drinks, which together comprise more than 80 percent of all the ads targeted at children and teens.” Nearly 25 million of children and teens in the United States are either overweight or obese.

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