A new report says kids are seeing more “unhealthy snack ads” on television. The research from the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity ranked how often children ages 6 to 11 saw snack ads in 2014 based on Nielsen syndicated data, and the results are hardly surprising.
The products children saw advertised most often were chips, fruit snacks, cookies, and other junk foods, with the data collected showing that kids saw these ads an average of 97.1 times in 2014. Additionally, the reports states that about 40% of all the food and beverage ads young people see on TV are for snacks. The author and the researchers of the study hope these results will bring awareness and hope parents will start protesting advertising practices.
Food companies have been increasing their advertising to children for junk food and sometimes even marketing it as healthy snacks. Plus, there’s a growing amount of snack advertising on social media and mobile phone apps. Although snacks ads online were much less prevalent than on TV, big food companies placed millions of ads on Facebook and YouTube in 2014.
Presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, the particular report compared how many snack ads young people typically saw in 2010 and 2014, and how many promoted products such as chips or healthier options, such as yogurt, fruit and nuts. Preschoolers ages 2 to 5 saw an average of 582 snack ads on TV in 2014, an increase of 18% since 2010. Children ages 6 to 11 saw 629 snack ads, an increase of 10%, and teen’s ages 12 to 17 saw 635 snack ads, an increase of 29%.
Perhaps a better solution to this problem is just turn off the TV and find another activity for your kids. Playing sports, playground, roller skating, dancing are just a few examples of fun activities away from TV and their unhealthy snacks ads.
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