Online Program

Effect of fast-food advertising on children's consumption and weight outcomes

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:59 p.m. - 1:11 p.m.

Lisa Powell, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Roy Wada, PhD, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
INTRODUCTION: Children and adolescents are increasingly consuming fast food which is associated with high caloric intake and poor diet quality. This study examines the relationships between exposure to fast-food television advertising and consumption and weight outcomes. METHODS: This study combines Nielsen media fast food advertising data with the Early Longitudinal Childhood Study, Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS –K) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-08 by designated market areas using interview dates and zip code-level geographic identifiers to examine the relationships between advertising exposure and consumption and weight outcomes. We estimate the effects of past media advertising, where the cumulative sum of media exposure is calculated for up to 3, 6 and 12 months prior to individual interview dates and then deflated using distance from interview dates to obtain both linear and depreciated average food media exposure for each child in each year. RESULTS: Preliminary results from the merged analyses with the ECLS-K indicate that the cumulative exposure to fast food media during the past year significantly affected the current frequency of fast food consumption by children and adolescent respondents in ECLS-K based on estimation using longitudinal random effects models. We find limited effects of advertising exposure on weight outcomes, on average. DISCUSSION: Study findings will provide new evidence on the extent to which exposure to fast food advertising impacts children's consumption and body weight with implications for the importance of strengthening self-regulatory pledges or in traducing more formal regulations to limit children's exposure to unhealthy fast food advertising.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the relationship between exposure to fast-food television ads and children’s fast-food consumption and body weight outcomes. Identify whether such associations differ by children’s demographic characteristics and socio-economic status. Assess the implications of the study findings for improving self-regulatory policies related to food and beverage advertising directed to children.

Keyword(s): Media, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator on multiple federally funded grants that examine children’s exposure to food advertising and its relationship to nutrition and obesity outcomes. I have a Ph.D. in economics and I am a Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.