Media blitz for snack food on decline

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In 2006 several major food companies vowed to stop marketing unhealthy foods directly to children, this after a tremendous amount of public pressure as part of an effort to decrease child obesity. According to findings reported online in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, these efforts may have now paid off. The study, which analyzed TV ratings in 2003, 2005 and 2007, found that children ages 2 to 5 years old saw 21.9% to 41% less TV advertising for snacks, sodas and other sugary drinks, cereals and candies by 2007. Similar decreases in adverting were seen in some categories among adolescents. Cola ads saw a 26.6% decrease among adolescents and a 30% decrease among 2 to 11 year olds from 2003 to 2007. According to Lisa M. Powell, PhD, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, and colleagues, “A number of positive changes have occurred in children’s exposure to food advertising… but children still see plenty of television advertisements that promote unhealthy eating habits.” Click here to read an article from the Los Angeles Times that discusses this study more.

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