They Say: Movies Make Your Kids Eat Junk Food

popcornAs if the counter at the front of the theater wasn’t bad enough, researchers are now saying letting your kids actually watch movies is bad for their health.

And it’s not because they’re spending time sitting on their butts instead of outside playing. Today’s flicks are full of junk food.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study found sixty-nine percent of the top movies between 1996 and 2005 contained “at least one food, beverage, or food retail establishment brand.” And they’re not talking the good stuff.

The study found: candy/confections (twenty-six percent) and salty snacks (twenty-one percent) were the most prevalent food brands, sugar-sweetened beverages (seventy-six percent) were the most prevalent beverage brands, and fast food composed two thirds of the food retail establishment brand placements.

And in case you doubt the power of the subliminal, have you ever had a candy craving during Willy Wonka family night? That’s what I thought.

The researchers call movies a “potent source of advertising to children.” They say that’s being largely overlooked – and as we focus in on product tie ins like toys rather than product placement, they might be right.

We have actually taught our daughter that when she sees something on the TV screen that they are “trying to sell us something.” My childless friends think it’s hilarious when she says it, but we’re hoping it’s a message that sticks.

What do you do to counteract the bad messages?

Image: norwichnuts, flickr

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