Navigation Links
Childhood obesity: It's not the amount of TV, it's the number of junk food commercials
Date:2/9/2010

The association between television viewing and childhood obesity is directly related to children's exposure to commercials that advertise unhealthy foods, according to a new UCLA School of Public Health study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study, conducted by Frederick J. Zimmerman and Janice F. Bell, is the first to break down the types of television children watch to better determine whether different kinds of content may exert different effects on obesity.

The researchers gathered data from primary caregivers of 3,563 children, ranging from infants to 12-year-olds, in 1997. Through time-use diaries, study respondents reported their children's activities, including television viewing, throughout the course of an entire weekday and an entire weekend day.

Caregivers were also asked to report the format- television programs, DVDs or videos- and the names of the programs watched. This data was used to classify television viewing into either educational or entertainment programming and to determine whether or not it contained advertising or product placement. A follow-up was conducted in 2002.

The analysis controlled for the amount of physical activity and the children's gender, age, race/ethnicity, mother's body mass index (BMI), education and sleep time.

Among all children, commercial viewing was significantly associated with higher BMI, although the effect was stronger for children younger than 7 than for those older than 7, the study found.

"The persistence of these results, even when the child's baseline weight status was controlled, suggests that the association between commercial television viewing and obesity does not arise solely or even primarily because heavier children prefer commercial television," said Zimmerman, professor and chair of health services at the School of Public Health and the lead author of the study.

Non-commercial viewing, including watching DVDs or educational television programming, had no significant association with obesity.

According to the authors, the findings strongly suggest that steering children away from commercial television may be effective in reducing childhood obesity, given that food is the most commonly advertised product on children's television and the fact that almost 90 percent of children begin watching television regularly before the age of 2.

By the time they are 5 years old, children have seen an average of more than 4,000 television commercials for food annually. During Saturday morning cartoons, children see an average of one food ad every five minutes. The vast majority of these ads- up to 95 percent- are for foods with poor nutritional value, the researchers say.

"Commercial television pushes children to eat a large quantity of those foods they should consume least: sugary cereals, snacks, fast food and soda pop," Zimmerman said.

The authors conclude that the availability of high-quality, enjoyable and educational programs for all ages on DVD should make it relatively easy for health educators and care providers to nudge children's viewing toward content that does not contain unhealthy messages about food and eating.

"Just as there are far better and more nutritious foods than those advertised on television, there are also far better and more interesting shows on television than those supported by advertising," Zimmerman said. "Educational television has come a long way since today's parents were children, and there are now many fantastic shows on commercial-free television and, of course, wonderful content available on DVD."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Anderson
sanderson@ph.ucla.edu
310-267-0440
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. NASBE Supports First Lady Michelle Obama in Fight Against Childhood Obesity
2. Family meals, adequate sleep and limited TV may lower childhood obesity
3. Review Spotlights Clues to Serious Childhood Infection
4. 32 Clear Channel Radio Stations Nationwide Unite to Fight Childhood Cancer February 11-12
5. Fewer Childhood Deaths From Rheumatic Disease
6. Some Childhood Cancer Survivors Face More Challenges at School
7. Mount Sinai finds prenatal exposure to certain chemicals affects childhood neurodevelopment
8. News brief: Childhood survivors of CNS cancers and leukemia have lowered educational attainment
9. Childhood obesity alone may increase risk of later cardiovascular disease
10. St. Jude and Washington University team to unravel genetic basis of childhood cancers
11. Scientists discover cells critical to childhood leukemia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... Abilene, Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... released a new publication this week that is focusing on the Peace Agreements being ... begun his Middle East sprint in a race to try to speed up peace ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Silver Birch of Hammond, a new assisted lifestyle community, ... four acres of land at 5620 Sohl Avenue in Hammond, serves older adults who ... 125 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of the private apartments at Silver Birch features ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Rob Lowe ... An upcoming production of the series is on hiking in American. Viewers can reconnect ... of the great benefits of hiking. , Many consumers have looked for an inventive ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, ... to announce a new, informational blog post on insurance options. If a Bay Area ... plans may help save time and money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “When the Stars Lead Home”: a poignant story of loss, ... Laura Weigel Douglas, an avid reader who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her ... Green Hills Adventure Camp. She couldn’t be more grateful. , Twelve-year old Tizzy could ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... , May 25, 2017  In response to ... , Direct Relief is working with Pfizer to ... available at no cost to community health centers, free ... providers nationwide. "Pfizer has a long-standing ... medicines and ensuring patient safety through educational activities," said ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... 24, 2017  ivWatch LLC today announced the ... Board to enable seamless integration of ivWatch,s groundbreaking ... infusion pumps and other devices. By integrating ivWatch ... to help health care customers deliver a higher ... to IV therapy. "The ivWatch OEM ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... PLEASANTON, Calif. , May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... world,s most innovative medical devices for pressure ulcer ... at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, ... Houston May 22-25. The Leaf Patient ... designed specifically for the hospital environment.  The system ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: