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Preschoolers From Higher-Income Families More Likely To Consume Junk Food

June 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Preschoolers from higher-income families who watch a lot of TV packed with food ads are more likely to indulge in junk food, and are therefore at greater risk of obesity, according to a new U.S. study. The findings come from interviews with more than 100 parents about home characteristics, including time spent viewing commercial TV, prerecorded commercial-free TV, and other media without food ads. Interviews with preschoolers were also conducted to see what they thought was a healthy meal. Interviewees were grouped into food-secure families (higher income) or food-insecure families (lower income). Food-secure families who could afford to give in to cravings when watching food ads were more likely to eat junk food, and their children had “distorted” ideas on what a healthy meal is.
Kristen Harrison and Mericarmen Peralta, "Parents With Heavy TV Viewing More Likely to Feed Children Junk Food", News release, study presented at the annual International Communication Association conference, June 08, 2013, © Harrison et al.
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