TV ads boost eating of obese children by 130%

The Scotsman
Apr. 27, 2007

OVERWEIGHT and obese children increase the amount of food they eat by more than 130 per cent after watching food adverts on TV, a study revealed yesterday.

Researchers at Liverpool University showed a group of 60 children a cartoon along with TV adverts for either food or toys.

The youngsters were then offered a selection of low-fat savoury snacks, crisps, grapes, chocolate and jelly sweets. The team found calorie intake was higher in the group which watched the food adverts compared to the toys group.

The children who were already obese increased their food consumption by 134 per cent compared to those who watched the toy adverts.

Overweight children upped their intake by 101 per cent and normal-weight children by 84 per cent.

Dr Jason Halford, director of the university's Klissileff Human Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory, said: "Our research confirms food TV advertising has a profound effect on all children's eating habits. The study also suggested a connection between weight and a susceptibility to over-eat when exposed to food adverts on TV."







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