Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children's food choices are affected by direct advertising and parental influence, study suggests

Date:
October 10, 2011
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Directly advertising food items to children worries many parents and health care providers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have expressed concern about the negative impact of advertising on children's healthy food choices. A new study explores the relationship between fast food advertisements, parental influence, and the food choices made by children.

Directly advertising food items to children worries many parents and health care providers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have expressed concern about the negative impact of advertising on children's healthy food choices. A new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics explores the relationship between fast food advertisements, parental influence, and the food choices made by children.

Related Articles


Dr. Christopher Ferguson and colleagues at Texas A&M International University studied 75 children ranging in age from 3 to 5 years. All of the children watched a series of two cartoons, with commercials shown between each cartoon. The children were divided into two groups; half of the children watched a commercial for French fries, and the other half watched a commercial for apple slices with dipping sauce. After watching the cartoons and commercials, the children were allowed to choose a coupon for either advertised food with input from their parents, half of whom encouraged their child to choose the healthy option, and the other half remained neutral.

Of the children who viewed the commercial for French fries, 71% chose the coupon for French fries if their parents remained neutral. However, the number only dropped to 55% when the children were encouraged by their parents to choose the healthier option. "Parental encouragement to eat healthy was somewhat able to help undo the message of commercials, although the effects of parents were smaller than we had anticipated," Dr. Ferguson explains. Of the children who viewed the commercial for apple slices with dipping sauce, only 46% picked French fries when their parents remained neutral; this number dropped to 33% when their parents encouraged them to pick the healthier option.

"Children were clearly influenced by the commercials they saw; however, parents are not powerless," Dr. Ferguson states. He goes on to note that although advertising effects can be considerable, "Parents have an advantage if they are consistent with their long-term messages about healthy eating." Rather than focusing on banning advertisements to children, the authors suggest that politicians, advocates, and food producers should concentrate on ways to promote the advertisement of healthy food options. As Dr. Ferguson concludes, "Advertisement effects can work both for and against healthy eating."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher J. Ferguson, Monica E. Muñoz, Maria R. Medrano. Advertising Influences on Young Children's Food Choices and Parental Influence. Journal of Pediatrics, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.08.023

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Children's food choices are affected by direct advertising and parental influence, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006084330.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2011, October 10). Children's food choices are affected by direct advertising and parental influence, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006084330.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Children's food choices are affected by direct advertising and parental influence, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006084330.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) — While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) — According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) — Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins