Food advertising 'linked with increased consumption in children'

26 January 2016

A new study from the University of Liverpool has indicated that a crackdown on food advertising could be useful in tackling obesity and unhealthy eating habits in children.

Researchers from the university reviewed and analysed 22 separate studies that examined the impact of acute, experimental unhealthy food advertising exposure on food consumption.

During these studies, children and adults were exposed to unhealthy food advertising on TV or online, measured how much they ate and compared this to the amount people ate without food advertising.

It was revealed that unhealthy food advertising exposure significantly increased food consumption in children, but not adults, with television and internet advertising shown to be equally impactful.

As such, advertising of this kind could be seen as a contributor to the global childhood obesity epidemic, as it indicates that marketing drives consumption, rather than just affecting brand presence.

University of Liverpool health expert Dr Emma Boyland, who led the research, said: "On the basis of these findings, recommendations for enacting environmental strategies and policy options to reduce children's exposure to food advertising are evidence-based and warranted."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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