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Child obesity levels linked to junk food ads

Recent research has revealed that the rising levels of child obesity may be linked to the TV ads that promote junk food.

The study suggests that limiting exposure to junk food advertisements on television could reduce the likelihood of obesity in children. The results of the study indicate that the familiarity between kids and the logos of unhealthy brands could increase the chances of becoming obese.

According to the assistant professor at Michigan State University, Anna McAlister, children receive most of their information about food from the television and there is a consistent link between those who have increased knowledge of the brand logos and Body Mass Index (BMI). McAlister believes that reducing time spent watching TV ads could reduce the likelihood of child obesity.

The study consisted of two groups of children, aged between three and five years old. The experiment found that in one group, exercise combated the effects of being familiar with junk food brands. However, in the second group, this wasn’t the case and exercise did not offset familiarity with junk food.

McAlister states that exercise should not be seen as the cure all for kids who eat an unhealthy diet and other measures should be put in place, including limited exposure to TV ads for junk food. A number of schools in the UK are combining exercise with a healthier diet by reducing sugar consumption and introducing healthy tuckshop foods. Merseyside has been proactive in encouraging children to exercise more and eat healthier options.

Posted by Susan
July 1, 2014

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