How many ads your kids see about junk food

Educating children is not a simple task, especially when we have external elements that seem to want to teach them just the opposite of what we say to them. So it is with the junk foodWe want to feed our children in the healthiest way, but sometimes it's impossible to protect them from ads that sell junk food like paradise.

This is demonstrated in a study prepared by the University of Granada and the San Rafael University Hospital of the same city. This work has concluded that Spanish children are "overexposed" to television commercials Unhealthy food (pizzas, soft drinks, industrial pastries or hamburgers, among others). The problem with this advertising is the "worrying" effects that can have on the rates of childhood obesity.

Consequences of ads in children

To reach these conclusions, researchers have analyzed a total of 1,263 ads broadcast during 256 hours of general and infantile television. In addition, the authors of the work have evaluated the changes that Spanish television has experienced between 2007 and 2013, that is, before and after the regulations (Spanish and European) of public health that regulate these types of television ads came into force. .

To carry out the analysis they used a specialized nutritionist in marketing, which was responsible for classifying the different ads based on the amount of nutrients, subliminal messages and recommendations on healthy habits.

The most worrisome of what the researchers observed, according to the UGR in a statement, is that all the ads appeared on the two thematic television channels more views by children Spanish people. Also, these ads that promote an unhealthy lifestyle also appeared in generalist chains aimed at all audiences.


Too many ads harmful to children

Children's theme chains issued 16 ads of food per hour, a figure that rises to 25 in the case of generalist chains. In particular, in the children's chains, ads about infant feeding (not including milk formulas), followed by dairy products. In the case of generalist channels, advertisements for fast food restaurants, vitamins and mineral supplements and dairy products predominated.

The researchers could see how the emission of this type of ads it has increased between 2007 and 2013 in the thematic channels for children (going from six ads per hour to ten). The same happens in the generalist chains: in spite of regulation regulations, the number of junk food advertisements has increased.

Control of advertising on television?

Parents play an important role when it comes to educating their children in front of the television, but it is also true that the task is not only of the family, because sometimes it is almost impossible to control what our children are exposed to.

This is the conclusion reached by the researchers, who warn of the need to increase control over food advertisements that are broadcast on Spanish television. Cristina Campoy, professor of the UGR and main author of the study, advocates to "take advantage of the level of attention that children have while watching cartoons to promote healthy lifestyle habits and healthy life, with the aim of preventing overweight and obesity".

"Nowadays there is no control of advertising that reaches children through video games that are downloaded on their mobile phones and tablets, as well as on social networks, so it is very necessary to legislate this aspect ", concludes the researcher.

Damián Montero

Video: Junk Food Ads and Kids

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