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Children’s TV Programming Blatently Over-Advertises High Calorie Food

Posted Nov 07 2009 12:00am

Do your children watch TV and come away asking for all types of treats? Here is an interesting tidbit of information. A recent study looked at the number of commercials and their content run on children’s networks or during children’s programming. Results show, children’s networks run the highest percentage of food-related commercials. Food advertisements were predominately for sugary cereals and sweets, high fat food, convenience or fast-food restaurant food, and chips/crackers. When compared to television for a general audience, children’s networks in this study exposed young viewers to 76% more food commercials per hour than did the other networks, with the Saturday morning 7-10 AM time slot being more saturated with food commercials. Approximately 7.7 food commercials per hour appeared in programming on the children’s networks, which is approximately 1 food commercial every 8 minutes. Only 1% of commercials were advertising the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Childhood obesity in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions and experts are recommending targeting these networks for change.

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