[Jog] Study: Kids get steady diet of junk food ads
Jennifer L YOUNG
Jennifer.L.Young at state.or.us
Wed Apr 18 12:48:20 PDT 2007
A new study was released by the Kaiser Family Foundation titled, Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States.
The Executive Summary is attached. If you're interested in the full 55 page report, it can be found at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/entmedia032807pkg.cfm
Here is an excerpt from the study's press release...
New Study Finds That Food is the Top Product Seen Advertised by Children * Among All Children, Tweens See the Most Food Ads at More than 20 a Day34% of All Food Ads Targeting Children or Teens are for Candy and SnacksHalf of All Ads Shown During Children's Shows are for Food
Washington, D.C. * As the fight against childhood obesity escalates, the issue of food advertising to children has come under increasing scrutiny. Policymakers in Congress, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and agencies such as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have called for changes in the advertising landscape, and U.S. food and media industries are developing their own voluntary initiatives related to advertising food to children. To help inform this debate, the Kaiser Family Foundation today released the largest study ever conducted of TV food advertising to children.
The study, Food for Thought: Television Food Advertising to Children in the United States, combines content analysis of TV ads with detailed data about children's viewing habits, to provide an estimate of the number and type of TV ads seen by children of various ages. The study found that tweens ages 8-12 see the most food ads on TV, an average of 21 ads a day, or more than 7,600 a year. Teenagers see slightly fewer ads, at 17 a day, for a total of more than 6,000 a year. For a variety of reasons -- because they watch less TV overall, and more of their viewing is on networks that have limited or no advertising, such as PBS and Disney -- children ages 2-7 see the least number of food ads, at 12 food ads a day, or 4,400 a year.
For each age group studied, food was the top product seen advertised. Thirty-two percent of all ads seen by 2-7 year olds were for food, while 25% of ads seen by 8-12 year olds and 22% of ads seen by 13-17 year olds were for food. Of all genres on TV, shows specifically designed for children under 12 have the highest proportion of food advertising (50% of all ad time).
"Children of all ages see thousands of food ads a year, but tweens see more than any other age group," said Vicky Rideout, vice president and director of the Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Since tweens are at an age where they're just becoming independent consumers, understanding what type of advertising they are exposed to is especially important."
Types of Food Advertised. Of all food ads in the study that target children or teens, 34% are for candy and snacks, 28% are for cereal, and 10% are for fast foods. Four percent are for dairy products and 1% for fruit juices. Of the 8,854 ads reviewed in the study, there were none for fruits or vegetables targeting children or teens.
Appeals Employed to Advertise Food. One in five (20%) food ads targeting children or teens include a push to a website, and a similar proportion (19%) include the offer of a premium, such as a game or toy. About one in ten (11%) have a tie-in to a children's TV or movie character.
Physical Activity Portrayed. Fifteen percent of all food ads targeting children or teens include depictions of a physically active lifestyle, such as showing children skateboarding, snowboarding, or playing basketball.
Public Service Advertising. The study also measured children's exposure to public service messages on fitness or nutrition (whether donated or paid). Children 2-7 and 8-12 see an average of one such message every 2-3 days (164 a year for 2-7 year-olds and 158 a year for 8-12 year-olds). Teens 13-17 see just one such message per week, for an average of 47 per year.
Jennifer Young, MPH, RD
Nutrition and Physical Activity Coordinator
Office of Family Health
Public Health Division, DHS
800 NE Oregon St., Ste. 825
Portland, OR 97232
telephone: (971) 673-0245
fax: (971) 673-0240
jennifer.l.young at state.or.us
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