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Exposure to Food Advertising On Television: Associations With Children's Fast Food and Soft Drink Consumption and Obesity

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  • Tatiana Andreyeva
  • Inas Rashad Kelly
  • Jennifer L. Harris

Abstract

There is insufficient research on the direct effects of food advertising on children's diet and diet-related health, particularly in non-experimental settings. We employ a nationally-representative sample from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) and the Nielsen Company data on spot television advertising of cereals, fast food restaurants and soft drinks to children across the top 55 designated-market areas to estimate the relation between exposure to food advertising on television and children's food consumption and body weight. Our results suggest that soft drink and fast food television advertising is associated with increased consumption of soft drinks and fast food among elementary school children (Grade 5). Exposure to 100 incremental TV ads for sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks during 2002-2004 was associated with a 9.4% rise in children's consumption of soft drinks in 2004. The same increase in exposure to fast food advertising was associated with a 1.1% rise in children's consumption of fast food. There was no detectable link between advertising exposure and average body weight, but fast food advertising was significantly associated with body mass index for overweight and obese children (>=85th BMI percentile), revealing detectable effects for a vulnerable group of children. Exposure to advertising for calorie-dense nutrient-poor foods may increase overall consumption of unhealthy food categories.

Suggested Citation

  • Tatiana Andreyeva & Inas Rashad Kelly & Jennifer L. Harris, 2011. "Exposure to Food Advertising On Television: Associations With Children's Fast Food and Soft Drink Consumption and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 16858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16858
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Berning & Rui Huang & Adam Rabinowitz, 2014. "An Evaluation of Government and Industry Proposed Restrictions on Television Advertising of Breakfast Cereals to Children," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 507-525, December.
    2. Wehby, George L. & Courtemanche, Charles J., 2012. "The heterogeneity of the cigarette price effect on body mass index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 719-729.
    3. Andres Silva & Lindsey M. Higgins & Mohamud Hussein, 2015. "An Evaluation of the Effect of Child-Directed Television Food Advertising Regulation in the United Kingdom," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 63(4), pages 583-600, December.
    4. Okrent, Abigail M. & MacEwan, Joanna P., 2014. "The Effects of Prices, Advertising, Expenditures, and Demographics on Demand for Nonalcoholic Beverages," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-22, April.
    5. Zhao, Zhenxiang & Kaestner, Robert & Xu, Xin, 2014. "Spatial mobility and environmental effects on obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 128-140.
    6. Okrent, Abigail & Kumcu, Aylin, 2014. "What’s Cooking? Demand for Convenience Foods in the United States," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170541, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Rahkovsky, Ilya & Gregory, Christian A., 2013. "Food prices and blood cholesterol," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 95-107.
    8. Michael Grossman & Erdal Tekin & Roy Wada, 2012. "Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Youth Body Composition," NBER Working Papers 18640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mandal, Bidisha & Powell, Lisa M., 2014. "Child care choices, food intake, and children's obesity status in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 50-61.
    10. Akpalu, Wisdom & Zhang, Xu, 2014. "Fast-food consumption and child body mass index in China: Application of an endogenous switching regression model," WIDER Working Paper Series 139, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Fiese, Barbara H. & Hammons, Amber & Grigsby-Toussaint, Diana, 2012. "Family mealtimes: A contextual approach to understanding childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 365-374.
    12. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:25:y:2017:i:c:p:3-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Alviola, Pedro A. & Nayga, Rodolfo M. & Thomsen, Michael R. & Danforth, Diana & Smartt, James, 2014. "The effect of fast-food restaurants on childhood obesity: A school level analysis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 110-119.
    14. Aneel Karnani & Brent McFerran & Anirban Mukhopadhyay, 2016. "The Obesity Crisis as Market Failure: An Analysis of Systemic Causes and Corrective Mechanisms," Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(3), pages 445-470.
    15. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:34:y:2019:i:c:p:49-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Riera-Crichton, Daniel & Tefft, Nathan, 2014. "Macronutrients and obesity: Revisiting the calories in, calories out framework," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 33-49.
    17. Paulette Kershenovich Schuster, 2016. "Balancing Act: Identity and Otherness among Latin American Immigrants and their Food Practices," Transnational Marketing Journal, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 4(2), pages 72-83, October.
    18. Ghosh, sudeshna, 2017. "Globalization and Obesity: Asian Experiences of ‘Globesity’," MPRA Paper 94601, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Labartino, Giovanna, 2014. "More apples fewer chips? The effect of school fruit schemes on the consumption of junk food," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 114-126.
    20. Ferda Halicioglu, 2013. "Dynamics of obesity in Finland," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 644-657, October.
    21. Agne Suziedelyte, 2015. "The effects of old and new media on children's weight," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(10), pages 1008-1018, February.
    22. Okrent, Abigail M. & MacEwan, Joanna P., 2014. "The Effects of Prices, Advertising, Expenditures, and Demographics on Demand for Nonalcoholic Beverages," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 0, pages 1-22.

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