BACKGROUND: Exposure to food commercials is assumed to be related to children's food preferences and snack food intake patterns. However, surprisingly few studies tested whether watching food commercials actually leads to elevated snack food intake.
OBJECTIVE: We experimentally tested the side effects of television food commercials on concurrent nonadvertised sweet snack food intake in young children aged 8-12 y.
DESIGN: The children (n = 120) watched a movie interrupted by 2 commercial breaks that contained either food commercials or neutral commercials. While watching, the children could freely eat palatable food. Afterward, they filled out questionnaires and were weighed and measured.
RESULTS: The main finding of our study was the interaction between commercial type and sex of the child. Food intake in boys was higher when they watched the food commercials than when they watched the neutral commercials, whereas food intake in girls was slightly lower when they watched the food commercials than when they watched the neutral commercials.
CONCLUSION: The results suggest that boys are susceptible to food cues in commercials.
- Advertising as Topic
- Body Mass Index
- Dietary Carbohydrates
- Energy Intake
- Environmental Exposure
- Motor Activity
- Sex Characteristics
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't