Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Selling Food to Children: Why is Obesity a Problem?

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Here is an assignment for you - watch TV with your tween one day and count the food advertisements - a recent study suggests you will see about 21 a day, and 34% of them will be advertising candy or snacks, 28% will be for cereal, and 10% will be for fast food!

As obesity becomes a bigger and bigger problem, federal organizations including the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have called for voluntary changes in the advertising of food to children. To help inform this debate, the Kaiser Family Foundation has released the largest study ever conducted of TV food advertising to children.

The study, "Food for Thought: TV Food Advertising to Children in the United States," suggests that tweens see the most (about 7,600 a year), and many send them to a web site for games, prizes, and surprise, more advertising! The study is based on a sample of 1,638 hours of TV content (which I hope included hazardous duty pay), which included 8,854 food ads.

One more reason to lose the TV!

Related Previous Posts: Couch Potato? Online Advertising, Childhood Obesity

Photo Credit: Tomeppy

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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