How adverts hidden in computer games are making children fatter
Daily Mail UK
They seem such innocent fun. Brightly coloured websites crowd the internet offering free games and featuring engaging cartoon characters.
What better way to keep the kids happily entertained? Child health experts see it differently.
They warn that such sites are often run by fast-food chains and makers of sugar-packed cereals and sweets whose sole intention is to sell more junk food.
They use subtle messages to encourage youngsters to crave their produce. And it works.
Dutch research last year found that children who play an internet game featuring a subtle food advertisement subsequently eat more than 50 per cent more sweets straight afterwards than children who play the game without the advert.
The investigator, Dr Frans Folkvord, a psychologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, who studied the habits of more than 1,000 children says that every week two-thirds of primary school children play online games that ply sweets and other unhealthy snacks.