Last week, Mediapost published an article entitled Food Advertising Works.
The article talks about a study from Yale University on how food advertising contributes to the eating habits of children. Apart from being an interesting read, I’ve had lots of friends, clients and publishers email or tweet me the article, so I thought I would share it with all on the Gourmet Ads blog, so here it is…..
Food Advertising Works
According to researchers from Yale University, in the journal Health Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, one study of seven- to 11-year-old children found that 45% of them ate more snack food while watching a cartoon that included food commercials than those children who watched the same cartoon with non-food commercials.From only a half hour of television viewing a day, the increase in snacking caused by food advertising would lead to a weight gain of nearly 10 pounds a year, unless mitigated by reduced consumption of other foods or increased physical activity, concludes the report.
The researchers also found that adult participants exposed to unhealthy food advertisements in TV programming ate significantly more than those who saw ads with a nutrition or healthy food message. And, these effects persisted after the television viewing.
In the experiments with both children and adults, food advertising increased eating for all available foods, even foods that were not specifically presented in the advertisements.
Jennifer Harris, PhD, Director of Marketing Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, concludes that “This research shows a direct… link between television food advertising and calories consumed by adults and children… food advertising triggers automatic eating, regardless of hunger… ”