Your Kids Watch More Fast Food Ads on TV, Even on PBS, Than You Think
October 21, 2006
A study of television commercials aimed at preschoolers, based on randomly selected four-hour morning programming blocks on PBS, Disney and Nickelodeon aimed specifically at toddlers and preschoolers, revealed that the three networks aired 130 food-related ads during this period.
Furthermore, more than half of those food commercials were specifically geared toward kids, and most were for fast-food chains (50) and sweetened cereals (18).
Fast food chains accounted for 82 percent of the advertising/sponsor messages on PBS and 36 percent of those on the Disney Channel.
The Federal Communications Commission is developing plans to study the links between television ads, viewing habits and the rise of childhood obesity.
Reports have indicated that the average child watches two to four hours of TV per day, and views 40,000 TV ads each year, the vast majority of them for cereal, candy, toys and fast food. American companies spend roughly $15 billion a year on advertising targeted at children under the age of 12.
According to the Institute of Medicine, one-third of American children are either obese or at risk for becoming obese. Some advocacy groups are calling for a ban on junk food commercials aimed at children.