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Junk food ads lead to obesity in kids

A research says kids who spend more time watching television also eat more of the calorie-dense, low-nutrient foods advertised on TV.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 11:42 IST
ANI

A recent research shows the link between viewing unhealthy food advertisements on television and overweight children. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Children’s Hospital, Boston, found out that each additional hour of television viewing was also independently associated with increased consumption of foods commonly advertised on
television.

Analysis shows each extra hour of TV translates into 167 extra calories in diet
According to this research, kids who spend more time watching television also eat more of the calorie-dense, low-nutrient foods advertised on television.

The researchers collected baseline data on dietary patterns and television viewing habits for 548 Boston-area students in sixth and seventh grade and then repeated these measurements after 19 months. The students were asked questions on the food advertised on TV and the number of hours they devote in front of the television each day.

The results of the study showed each additional hour of television viewing was also independently associated with increased consumption of foods commonly advertised. And these foods were shown to be responsible for much of the calorie increase.

Viewing time seemed to have the strongest connection to additional consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The research also concluded that twice as many children and almost three times as many teens are overweight today compared to their counterparts growing up 20 years ago.