However, exposure to fast-food ads increased between 2003 and 2007, with a 4.7 percent increase in viewings among children age 2 to 5, 12.2 percent among children 6 to 11 and 20.4 percent among teens age 12 to 17. The high prevalence of these ads suggests the importance of branding, the authors note. "Indeed, children have been found to recognize brand logos at very young ages and a recent study found that preschoolers exhibited significantly higher preferences for food and beverage items in branded vs. plain packaging," they write.
The racial gap in advertising also increased in this time period. By 2007, African American children saw 1.4 to 1.6 times as many food ads per day than white children, depending on their age. "In particular, African American children and teens had more than double the rate of increase in exposure to fast food ads compared with their white counterparts," the authors write.
"A number of positive changes have occurred in children's exposure to food advertising," they conclude. "Continued monitoring of children's television food ad exposure along with nutritional assessments of advertised products will improve understanding of the extent to which self-regulation can translate into a reduction in the promotion of unhealthy food products."
|Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez|
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