Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released the largest study ever conducted of TV food advertising to children. Their findings include:

  • Half of all ads shown during children’s shows are for food, the top product seen by children.
  • 34% of all food ads targeting youth are for candy or snacks.
  • Of the 8,854 ads reviewed in the study, there were none for fruits or vegetables aimed at children or teens.
  • Roughly one in five food ads targeting children includes promotion of a website; the same number include the offer of a premium, such as a game or toy.

"Children of all ages see thousands of food ads a year, but tweens see more than any other age group," said Vicky Rideout of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Since tweens are at an age where they’re just becoming independent consumers, understanding what type of advertising they are exposed to is especially important."

For more information about the relationship between food advertising and overweight, we recommend the following recent articles:

  • Chamberlain, LJ. et al. (2006) "Does children’s screen time predict requests for advertised products? Cross-sectional and prospective analyses." Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
  • Lobstein, T. and Dibb, S. (2005) "Evidence of a possible link between obesogenic food advertising and child overweight." Obesity Reviews.

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