Kids mistake apples for french fries in TV ads
Research published in JAMA Pediatrics contends that children in the U.S. had a hard time recognizing healthy food in fast food commercials.
In an effort to help fight the obesity epidemic among young American children, fast food companies, in 2009, agreed to advertise healthy foods in commercials targeted at children. To evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign, researchers from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire showed children, ages 3 to 7, images from fast food ads that aired on the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and other children’s networks from July 2010 to June 2011.
The researchers say that half of the children did not recognize milk when it was shown in McDonald’s and Burger King ads. In addition, only 10 percent of the children knew that apple slices in the Burger King ads were in fact apples and not french fries.
The researchers concluded that the ads were "deceptive by industry standards" and may not be doing much to encourage kids to eat healthier foods.