The British scientists conducted a survey on a group of 60 children of varying weights to determine which effects TV ads had on their eating habits. The results showed that children of all weights increase their food consumption by around 100% after watching food advertisements on television.

The children were all aged between nine and eleven years. The psychologist showed them a series of both food television adverts and toy adverts, followed by a cartoon. All weight groups had similar responses and they all increased their food intake following the food adverts. The obese children increased their food intake by 134%; overweight children by 101% and normal weight children by 84%.

The study clearly shows that food TV advertising has a great effect on all children’s eating habits, increasing the consumption rate twofold.

Fourteen percent of children are classed as obese in UK and the average child watches 17 hours of commercial television a week. Although a ban on junk food advertising had been introduced in the UK in January 2007, the surveys conducted have shown that many children still watch them during ‘family viewing’ hours in the evening when the ban does not apply.