Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 14 Aug 2016 Junk food ads might ...

Junk food ads might lead to unhealthy choices among children: study

Published Aug 14, 2016, 11:32 am IST
Updated Aug 14, 2016, 2:35 pm IST
Children seem to value taste differently (Photo: AFP)
 Children seem to value taste differently (Photo: AFP)

While junk food is directly responsible for health issues among children, it turns out that commercials for the same can be very damaging as well. Researchers suggested that such advertisements on TV influence children to base their food choices on taste and not health.

The study was conducted on 23 children aged 8 to 14, as they rated 60 food items based on taste and health, as researchers noted their brain activity while watching food and non-food commercials.

Amanda Bruce of University of Kansas’ medical centre told IANS that, "For brain analyses, our primary focus was on the brain region most active during reward valuation, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. During the brain scan, children were asked whether they wanted to eat the food items that were shown immediately after the commercials."

The study found that the ventromedial prefrontal cortices were more active after watching food commercials. It concluded that children value taste differently after watching such ads and make impulsive and unhealthy food choices.



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