Year of Publication

2011

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Science: Nutrition (MSH)

Department

Nutrition & Dietetics

First Advisor

Judy Perkin

Second Advisor

Linda Lockett Brown

Third Advisor

Nancy J. Correa-Matos

Abstract

The prevention of childhood obesity during the formative years is necessary because dietary patterns influenced by parents are developed early. A major obstacle to healthy feeding patterns in children is television advertising. The study tested three hypotheses. 1) Preschool children ages two to five years who watch more television are able to recognize/recall more food brands than those who view less television. 2) An increase in food brand recognition/recall in preschool children is associated with an overweight classification based on calculated Body Mass Index. 3) Children of parents who are unaware of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for television viewing per day in preschool children will exceed the recommended daily viewing time of two hours.

Twenty-nine preschool children were assessed on their ability to match food brand logos with correct foods and identify specific brands from recall. Weight and\ height were measured to calculate their Body Mass Index-for age. Twenty-eight parents were asked to complete a validated survey and a one-week television diary.

The results showed statistically significant differences in identifying food brands between children who had lower exposure to television (6.8±.5; 95% CI 5.95-7.55) compared to higher exposure (10.3±1.0; 95% CI 9.25-11.42). This effect was not significantly correlated with overweight status (n=5). No significant correlations were found between parent's knowledge of AAP recommendations and children's exposure to television. Impact of television advertisements on preschool children's response to food/brand logos due to daily exposure to advertising is still of critical interest and worthy of further exploration.

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