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Television Advertisements And Kids Facts

Maggie LaBarbera • RN, MBA • Apr 15, 2012

TV Ads And Kids

  • Children ages 8 -18 spend average of 4 1⁄2 hours per day watching television, 1 1/2 hours using computers, and more than an hour playing video games* The maximum amount recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is two (2) hours of television each day.
  • Kids watch an average of over ten food-related ads every day (nearly 4,000/year)*
  • Nearly all (98 percent) of food advertisements viewed by children are for foods and beverages that are high in fat, sugar or sodium. Most (79 percent) are low in fiber.*

Facts About The Influence Of Food Marketing On Kids

Here are some facts and evidence based study results:

  • In 2006, based on a comprehensive review of the research, the Institute of Medicine released a report that revealed strong evidence that television advertising influences children’s food choices, what they asked their parents to buy, and actual eating habits. Their recommendation: Stop using licensed characters to promote junk food.*
  • Children will eat about 167 extra calories for ever hour of TV that they watch.*
  • A preschooler’s risk for obesity will increase by 6% for every hour of TV watched per day.*
  • One thirty-second commercial can influence the brand preferences of children as young as two.*
  • Based on an extensive review of the research, the American Psychological Association determined that children 8 years and younger really did not understand that commercials and advertisements were trying to influence them.*
  • In a 2007 study, preschool children stated that food in McDonald’s wrappers tasted better than food in plain wrappers, suggesting that branding can even influence how they think foods will actually taste.*
To help your family get on track, here are some helpful, fun kid friendly sheets you can print up:
Just click here- Printable- Limiting TV Time Hours Kids Agreement Sheet
Children can be easily influenced by what they see and hear on TV. Research shows that the more television children watch, the more likely they are to snack between meals and to want the foods advertised on commercials. Have you ever watched the commercials on a Saturday morning during cartoons? It is filled with ads for junk food such as sugared cereals, chips, and candy.

More Kids and Advertising Resources











See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Maggie LaBarberaWritten on Apr 15, 2012Last updated on Mar 19, 2015




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