“ EFFECTS OF FAST FOOD IN CHILDRENS DIET”
Background: Fast food has become a prominent feature of the diet of children in the United States and increasingly, throughout the world. However, few studies have examined the effects of fast food consumption on any nutrition or health-related outcome.
Objective: To examine the effects of cumulative, real-world marketing and brand exposures on young children by testing the influence of branding from a heavily marketed source on taste preferences.
Methods: Participants were 3- to 5-year-old children and their parents recruited from 3 centers in Houston Texas Cullen Elementary a federally sponsored preschool program for low-income families. The study was introduced at parent meetings, and informed consent and a 2-page parent questionnaire in English and Spanish were sent home to parents. Parents noted if their child should not be allowed to eat each food and drink to be tested.
Results: Parents of 95 children correctly completed and returned consent forms and questionnaires of which 63 children (66%) completed the food tasting experiment and comprised the analysis sample; 7 declined to participate when asked; 8 were absent, had moved, or were not available during the days and/or times of the experiment; and 17 were unable to understand or refused to complete the protocol.
Conclusion: Branding of foods and beverages influences young children's taste perceptions. The findings are consistent with recommendations to regulate marketing to young children and also suggest that branding may be a useful strategy for improving young children's eating behaviors.
The global childhood obesity epidemic is focusing attention on the effects of food and beverage marketing. A recent report published by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concluded that marketing of energy-dense foods and fast food outlets is a...