Kids and Food Commericals

Last year you may have read about a proposal from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that food commercials during children’s television shows be banned.   I happen to agree with the AAP on this particular issue.  Why?  Let’s look at what the science tells us.  There was a wonderful study done at Yale that was published in 2009 that looked at this very problem.  We know this is a great study because it is NOT an observational study.  It was a randomly controlled study that looked at just one variable — food commercials.   The results of the study were clear in that the group of children who watched television shows with food commercials ate 45% more food (whatever food was available) than children who watched television shows without food commercials.  In other words, food commercials PRIME your appetite. I don’t think this really surprises anyone.  Watching television with commercials makes you hungry!  My recommendation is to NOT LET YOUR CHILD WATCH FOOD COMMERCIALS.   Do not let your child’s appetite be manipulated (or yourself for that matter).  Do the following:

1. Minimize screen time
2. If you watch a show, watch it on a DVR where you can skip the commercials
3. Watch shows on DVD or Digital download
4. During commercials you can: turn off the TV, change the channel, or walk out of the room


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