Kids meals, toys, and TV advertising are manipulating children very successfully, new research claims.
You’d be surprised at how much influence fast food companies have on your kids, researchers say.
A new study finds that television ads for fast food restaurants targeting children tend to have a big impact on the family, according to a HealthDay News report.
Children are especially susceptible when a free toy is offered, and the research indicated that kids that watched more fast food advertising were more likely to convince their parents to get them fast food.
For the study, researchers examined 100 children between the ages of 3 and 7, as well as their parents. They were surveyed about their TV watching habits and how often they visited fast food chains that were featured on the channels. They were also asked how often their kids got toys with their meals.
The results were rather alarming: about 37 percent of parents indicated that their families visited the two fast food chains featured in the study more frequently, and 54 percent of the kids had requested that their parents take them to that restaurant. And about 83 percent of the children who got toys in their meals asked to go back to that restaurant.
The findings, which were published in The Journal of Pediatrics, found that children who had TVs in their bedrooms or watched TV during the day were more likely to visit fast food chains more frequently than those who did not. It shows just how heavily influenced children can be by advertisements on their favorite TV channels, and indicates that parents should be more careful with what they allow them to watch and how often, especially if they want their family to eat healthy.