Tv Junk Food

Tv Junk Food

Restrictions on food television commercials aimed at children may have reduced the number of kids TV food ads,
but children are still being targeted with cross-promotional tactics and product placement. According to a study
from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, cross-promotions on food packaging aimed at children nearly
doubled between 2006 and 2008 in the US.

The US, the UK and Australia have all taken steps to restrict food advertising targeting children, particularly
junk food advertising, to promote healthy eating and combat rising obesity among children. Researchers at the Rudd
Center for Food Policy and Obesity assessed 397 products that used cross-promotions – including use of third-party
licensed characters, as well as tie-ins with other television shows and movies, athletes, sports teams and events,
theme parks, toys and games, and charities. They found that over the three year period (2006 – 2008) the number of
products using youth-oriented cross-promotions increased by 78%.The study said that of all the foods being
promoted, only 18 per cent met accepted nutrition standards for foods sold to youth, raising concerns that the
initiatives of the CBBB are not having the desired effect, and stricter legislative changes are required.

The researchers found that adult participants exposed to unhealthy food advertisements in TV programs also ate
significantly more than those who saw ads with a nutrition or healthy food message. These effects persisted after
the TV viewing. While TV food ads are, by design, created to increase purchase and consumption of the foods being
advertised, Yale noted that both experiments caused adults and children to increase mindless intake of any foods
they had available, including those not specifically presented in the advertisements. Children see few public
service announcements compared to food ads. Children under 8 see one announcement on fitness or nutrition for every
26 food ads.

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