Study: Food and beverage marketing increases use of products promoted by children

Exposure to food advertising appears to increase children’s consumption of these advertised brands, according to a new study. Photo by mojzagrebinfo/Pixabay

May 2 (UPI) – Exposure to food and beverage marketing and advertising significantly boosts consumption of these products among children and adolescents, according to an analysis released Monday.

According to the analysis of data from 80 previously published studies, the analysis of data from 80 previously published studies shows that food and beverage marketing campaigns increase the consumption of these brands among people aged 19 and under. up to 25%.

Additionally, young people exposed to these campaigns were up to 30% more likely to indicate a preference for the food and drink brands being promoted, the researchers said in an article published Monday by JAMA Pediatrics.

Several studies included in the analysis also suggest that exposure to food and drink marketing increased purchase inquiries for certain brands among children and adolescents, they said.

In this study, exposure to food marketing was associated with increased children’s food intake, choice, and preference toward test items and purchase requests,” wrote researchers from the University. from Liverpool in England.

However, “there was little evidence to support associations with food purchased by or on behalf of children, while data on dental health and body weight outcomes were sparse,” they said. .

The findings are based on an analysis of data from 80 studies that collectively recruited more than 19,000 people aged 19 and under in dozens of countries around the world, according to the researchers.

In the United States, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a voluntary program enacted in 2006, sets standards for advertising and marketing food and beverage products to children.

Nineteen food and beverage companies have voluntarily pledged to limit advertising of unhealthy foods to children 12 and under.

However, a recent report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health at the University of Connecticut found that more than a third of food products advertised to children are not considered healthy food options.

Additionally, recent research suggests that social media influencers are promoting unhealthy food choices to young people online and that fast food companies are targeting black and Hispanic young people with their advertising.

The World Health Organization recommends that all member countries, including the United States, adopt policies to limit children’s exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods.

“Food and/or non-alcoholic beverage marketing that extensively promotes products high in fat, sugar and/or salt is prevalent on television, digital media, outdoor spaces and sports. “, wrote the researchers.

“Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of food marketing given their immature cognitive and emotional development, peer influence and high exposure,” they said.

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