Galen College of Nursing
Effects of Television Advertisements on Children
Do you love to watch television? Most people do enjoy watching television, including children. In today’s world children are watching more television than ever before and are therefore bombarded with commercials. Research has shown that the average child watches more than 40,000 television commercials per year (Dittmann, 2004). The ability for children to recall commercials is extremely strong. Studies show that they only need to see a commercial once to develop a preference for the particular product. The more these commercials are exposed to them, their preference is getting stronger. Because children are exposed to so much television, the effects of television advertisements can be potentially harmful to them. Particularly to children ages 8 and younger who lack the cognitive ability to recognize advertising's persuasive intent (Dittmann, 2004).
Children’s eating habits are most definitely influenced by television advertisements. Childhood obesity is becoming worse each and every day. Studies have shown that long hours of television viewing may have a detrimental effect on children’s health. Children who consistently spend more than four hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight. When seeing ads for junk food daily, it convinces the child that they need to have it. A study of roughly 280 participants between the ages of 6 and 13 viewed several forms of television programming and commercials for various food products. After viewing the food commercials, all of the children selected more branded and non-branded fatty and carbohydrate items compared with viewing non-food commercials (Birkett, 2011). The study also showed that the longer the children viewed television, the greater their preference was for unhealthy food items (Birkett, 2011). While junk food and fast food ads may not be...