Monday June 14, 2021

updated - June 14, 2021 Monday EDT

Children familiar with fast food logos are more overweight compared to those who can't: Study

Jul 01, 2014 02:04 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter

A new study discovers the more a child is familiar with logos and the mascots from fast-food restaurants, sodas, and not-so-healthy snack food brands, the more likely the child is to be overweight or obese.

Researchers from Michigan State University quizzed children on how well they could recognize various brands, including their ability to identify items such as golden arches, silly rabbits and a king's crown and found that those who could identify them the most tended to have higher body mass indexes, or BMIs.

'Because kids get most of their food messages from television, the consistent relationship between brand knowledge and BMI (body mass index) suggests that limiting advertising exposure might be a step in the right direction,' said Anna McAlister, assistant professor at Michigan State University in the US.

'The kids who know most about these brands have higher BMIs,' she added. For the study, the researchers tested kids - aged between three and five - by giving pictures of unhealthy food-related logos.

The results suggest that physical activity is not the only answer and limiting advertising exposure might be a step in the right direction too.

McAlister says the relationship between brand knowledge and BMI suggests that limiting a child's exposure to TV advertising might be a step in the right direction towards healthier children.

The study was published in the journal Appetite.

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