Obese children more susceptible to food advertising

As childhood obesity rates continue to skyrocket in the US, health advocacy groups are putting more pressure on media to stop promoting unhealthy diets.

And a new study reveals just how dangerous commercials and advertisements are--especially for children who are already obese. The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that obese kids are more susceptible to the messages in food advertising.

Brain activity heightened by food logos

By studying brain activity, researchers found that obese children showed more stimulation in the center of the brain that deals with pleasure and reward while seeing images of popular food logos, like those of Pepsi, Cheerios or Cap'n Crunch. Non-obese children, in contrast, showed brain stimulation in a completely different area of the brain when viewing these same logos--the part that rules self-control.

The study supports the current theory that obese children struggle with self-control when it comes to eating--much like a drug addict would with drugs--because of their different brain patterns.

Study author Dr. Amanda Bruce says the research sheds light on the ethics of food advertising, especially given the rising rates of obesity-related illness and diabetes.

"I think it raises the question, and it's a difficult question, of how ethical is it to advertise unhealthy food products to children, especially when we see that obese children are potentially more vulnerable to this type of advertising."

Marketing unhealthy foods

According to Bruce, companies spend more than $10 billion on food and drink ads targeting children, and nearly all of them--98 percent--are for products that are high in sugar, fat or sodium. Marketing, Bruce notes, can have a huge impact on the popularity of foods among children.

"In the 1950s and '60s, the favorite vegetable of children in the United States was spinach. That was because of Popeye. Even then we see marketing having a huge influence," said Bruce.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-third of all U.S. children are obese.

Source: Ozarks First

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...