Food and Drink TV Ads for Kids Send Parents the Wrong Message
Ads portray products as healthy when in reality they have poor nutritional content.
It may not just be the kids who are getting the wrong message from the food and beverage commercials shown on television—a new study appearing in the December 2015 issue of Pediatrics shows that ads aimed at parents portray products as healthy when in reality they have poor nutritional content.
The study, “Children’s Food and Beverage Promotion on Television to Parents,” looked at commercials for children’s foods and beverages aired on television for a year. Researchers divided the ads into those targeted at children or parents based on the ad characteristics and themes. Commercials that featured family bonding themes, for example, were classified as being directed toward parents.
The findings provide further evidence that food and beverage advertising that promotes lifestyle over nutritional value can influence poor diet choices among U.S. parents and children, says Layla Esposito, who oversees the grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.