Study finds that advertisements contribute to children’s consumption of sugary cereal
The Dartmouth
Anne George

According to a recent study, children aren’t pestering their parents for sugary cereal just because of the taste — a team of researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine found that flashy television advertisements aimed at young viewers are contributing to preschoolers’ consumption of high-sugar cereals.

“After years of research, I’m not sure parents truly appreciate how powerful marketing is to kids,” biomedical data science and pediatrics professor and lead author of the cereal study Jennifer Emond said.

“As parents, we have a choice: we can shield our children from this marketing through controlling what we show our kids, or we can demand better guidelines,” Emond said.

The purpose of the research was to confirm assumptions and fill existing gaps in science literature about the impact of advertisements directed at children, according to Emond. The team decided to conduct a longitudinal, observational study of 624 preschoolers and conducted their research by having parents closely monitor what television channels their children watched and then record what cereals they gravitated toward.

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