Food commercials change children's eating priorities

Junk food is a significant contributor to the skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Children are exposed to food advertising - including junk food commercials - multiple times a day. Researchers have found that these advertisements directly influence children's food choices and brain activity, and they may be a factor in overeating and the associated health risks.

Food marketing is cited as a substantial environmental factor in food choices and overeating, and, as a result, obesity, and TV advertising and branding have been shown to affect both food familiarity and preference.

Previous research indicates that children who view advertisements are more likely to prefer branded foods than children not exposed to advertisements. Behavioral studies have reported an association between receptivity to food commercials and the amount of food consumed.

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