It’s the no-brainer study of the week: if you ate a diet consisting of the foods shown in typical TV ads, you’d be consuming twenty times more fat, and twenty-five times more sugar than is recommended.
The analysis of American commercials (during prime time and Saturday morning hours) showed what we might all expect … the foods advertised on TV aren’t typically good for us.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. And, while we can agree the results aren’t exactly a surprise, it’s worth taking note of what Michael Mink, Assistant Professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and the study’s other authors say:
Televised food advertisements, which encourage viewers to eat the foods promoted for sale, constitute a de facto set of dietary endorsements.
If we (and, even more crucially, our kids) are being shown through commercials that it’s normal and good to eat high-sugar, high-fat foods, we’re going to be more likely to make the wrong choices in our day-to-day lives.
Have you ever watched a TV or magazine advert showing a skinny model eating chocolates (or fries and a burger, etc) and ended up thinking well, she’s skinny, and she eats that, so I guess I can too …? You know its faulty logic, but your gut reaction is to want what you’re being shown images of.
So, what can we do?
Advertisers are going to push foods, which give them a high profit margin (so fresh fruit and veggies rarely appear on TV). One solution is to watch less TV, and to keep an eye on what your kids are watching, so you can discuss any issues raised by the adverts. Alternatively, just be aware of how much junk food is being peddled to you, and learn to mentally tune out those messages.
Originally published on Diet Blog