Watching just over 4 minutes of junk food advertising on television increases a child’s food consumption by 250 kilojoules. That is what a study combining results of experimental studies from around the world has concluded.
The study also found that playing a game with embedded ads for 5 minutes increased consumption by 220 kilojoules. It might not seem like much, but most children will see more than 4 minutes of junk food ads a day as television programmers are allowed to include up to 13 minutes per hour of non-program content in the evenings on Australian television. Daily exposure to junk food advertising and small energy imbalances adds up over time and lead to weight gain.
That is why we are calling for comprehensive regulation, including on television and online, to protect children from unhealthy food advertising and set them up with healthy eating habits for life.
Russell S, et al. The effect of screen advertising on children’s dietary intake: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Obesity Reviews. 2019.