Published on April 30, 2012 at 4:16 AM
"A similar association with obesity was not found for familiarity with televised alcohol ads, suggesting that the relationship was specific to fast-food advertising content," Dr. McClure said. "After accounting for overall TV time, TV ad familiarity was still linked with obesity suggesting that this finding is not simply due to increased sedentary time or an effect of TV programming."
However, eating more frequently at fast-food restaurants depicted in the ads was not associated with obesity.
"The relation between fast-food marketing and obesity is not simply that it prompts more quick-serve restaurant visits," said study co-author James D. Sargent, MD, FAAP, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. Instead, "individuals who are more familiar with these ads may have food consumption patterns that include many types of high-calorie food brands, or they may be especially sensitive to visual cues to eat while watching TV. More research is necessary to determine how fast-food ad familiarity is linked to obesity," he added.
"Given the broad exposure of youth to advertising, the more we know about how media and marketing affect young people, the better equipped we are as pediatricians and parents to guide them in making healthy diet choices," Dr. McClure concluded.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics