Food and Behaviour Research

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Beyond-brand effect of television (TV) food advertisements/commercials on caloric intake and food choice of 5-7-year-old children

Halford JC, Boyland EJ, Hughes G, Oliveira LP, Dovey TM (2007) Appetite.  2007 Jul;49(1):  263-7. Epub 2006 Dec 23. 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here


Food advert exposure has been shown to influence calorie intake and food choice in 9-11 year olds. However, little is known about the effect of food advertisements on feeding behaviour in younger children. Therefore, we conducted a study with 93 children aged 5-7 years, 28 of whom were over weight or obese. 

he children were exposed to 10 non-food adverts and 10 food adverts in a repeated measures design. Their consumption of sweet and savoury, high and low fat snack foods, and fruit were measured following both sessions. Food advert exposure produced a significant increase in total food intake in young children. The collection of recognition data was incomplete.

These data replicate previous findings in that exposure to food adverts increases food intake in all children, but recognition of food adverts is related to body mass index (BMI). Beyond their effects on brand choice, exposure to food advertisements (commercials) promotes over-consumption in younger children.