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New study examines the impact on children of food product placements in the movies
Date:2/9/2010

LEBANON, NH- (February 5, 2010) New research from the Hood Center for Children and Families at Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) for the first time sheds light on the significant potential negative impact that food product placements in the movies could be having on children.

The study, which appears in the current edition of the journal Pediatrics, shows that most of the "brand placements" for food, beverage, and food retail establishments that are frequently portrayed in movies, are for energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods or product lines. In addition, the study shows for the first time that product placements in movies may be a far more potent source of advertising to children in terms of food choices than previously understood.

"The current situation in the United States is very serious in terms of the health of our children, and we have to look seriously at all of the factors that may be contributing to it, including the impact of product placements in movies," says Lisa Sutherland, Ph.D. the lead author of the study. Sutherland says that the diet quality of U.S. children and adolescents has declined markedly during the past 20 years, and current estimates suggest that only one percent of children eat a diet consistent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) My-Pyramid food guidance. Additionally, fewer than one fifth of adolescents meet the dietary recommendations for fat or fruit and vegetable intakes, and during the last 20 years obesity rates have doubled for children aged 6 to 11 years and tripled for adolescents aged 12 to 19 years.

"While the issue of food advertising and its effect on children has been well documented in numerous studies, comparatively little is known about product placement in movies and how it affects the food and beverage preferences and choices of children and adolescents," Sutherland said. The study notes that while there are similarities between television advertising and movie product pl
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Contact: David Corriveau
david.a.corriveau@dartmouth.edu
603-653-0771
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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