How Many Junk Food Ads Do Your Children Watch on TV?

There's little doubt in anyone's mind children who spend copious amounts of time in front of the TV are exposed to a flood of junk food ads and, in so doing, are at a far greater risk of being harmed by the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Nevertheless, food and advertising executives continue to dispute the problem as they did in a Wednesday report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (reviewing some 8,900 ads aired on 13 networks during a five-month period in 2005), calling it "a very good snapshot," and that the marketing landscape for kids had changed since that year.

That is, if you call a voluntary agreement among 11 large advertisers to kids -- among them Kraft and McDonald's -- to make 50 percent of their ads aimed at kids devoted to healthier lifestyles a true compromise.

By the numbers:

  • Kids in the 8-12 age group viewed the most foods ads every day (21).
  • Half of the commercials aired on shows intended for kids under age 12 were devoted to food ads.
  • Nearly 20 percent offer some incentive, like a game or toy.
  • No ads promoted vegetables or fruits.

Just a reminder, there's plenty of steps you can take that will make a huge difference in battling the childhood obesity epidemic in your own home, and limiting the time your child spends in front of a TV is crucial.

Kaiser Family Foundation March 28, 2007 Free Full Text Report

New York Times March 29, 2007 Registration Required

The Ledger March 29, 2007


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