There is ongoing speculation about the advertisement of calorie-rich foods. It is believed that the way the calorie-rich foods are advertised contributes to an individual’s desire to consume them. In fact, the advertisement of these foods is believed to contribute to the increase in child obesity. Even if the advertised food is not available, the person watching the advertisement is likely to snack on unhealthy foods. To put this theory to test, research was carried out to test how food commercials affect weight in adults and children.
To carry out this study, a group of adults and a group of elementary-age kids were selected. Each of these groups was further divided into two groups. The first test involved elementary kids. Both of the elementary kids’ groups were shown cartoons. The first group was allowed to watch cartoons with advertisements for food items in between. The second group was also made to watch cartoons with advertisements, but the advertisements did not involve food items.
The second part of the study was conducted to determine how food commercials affect weight in adults. These adults were also made to watch television programs with commercials. The first group was made to watch commercials that promoted unhealthy snacks or other products. The second group was asked to watch programs with commercials for healthy food items. The latter advertisements highlighted the nutritional benefits of healthy snacks.
The elementary kids’ groups were offered snacks throughout the time the research was underway. The objective was to test how much snack food children consume after watching a food advertisement. The results were quite disturbing. It was determined that, when children watched advertisements, they were more likely to consume unhealthy snacks. During the experiment, it was found that elementary kids who watched advertisements for unhealthy snacks were 45% more likely to consume unhealthy foods.
The study with adults produced surprising results. When the adult participants were watching commercials and were served food, they consumed more unhealthy snacks, too. The most concerning aspect of this study was that food consumption was not linked with any secondary factor, like hunger or stress.
There is no doubt that food commercials affect weight. In fact, these advertisements actually affect your desire to eat. One of the best options for adults is to consider keeping healthy snacking options around them if they feel the need to snack while watching TV. This will help them reach out for healthier snacks, should they need to munch on something.
This study offers just one more piece of the puzzle as to why obesity is a growing concern, not only in adults but also in children.