TV, Teens & Obesity

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A new study shows that half of all ads shown during children's shows are for food. This report was released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation. It reveals American kids are exposed to as many as 50 hours-a-year of TV food advertising, mainly targeted at sugary snacks.

"I think that it probably does affect them,” said Physician Christopher Goodwin.

Goodwin deals with children on a frequent basis. He said that this type of advertising should be a concern.

"I think that the advertising represents a larger cultural problem which is related to essentially a fast food culture,” Goodwin said.

The report does not directly link TV food advertising with the alarming rise in obesity rates in American kids, but just look at what children are seeing. Thirty-four percent of commercials on children's shows are for candy and snacks, 28 percent for cereal, 10 percent for fast food and none for fruits and vegetables.

"I think that there's a number of things that they can do within their own family to try to address the issue of childhood obesity,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin also said as a parent he is already aware of the advertising on television and what his two kids are constantly seeing.

"As a father I try to limit how much television they watch. I particularly try to limit their exposure to advertisements."

Goodwin also said he encourages parents to shop healthy when at the grocery store and to also eat this way.

"I think our children model many of their behaviors, both their eating and exercise habits after their parents, so I think being a good role model is important as well,” Goodwin said.

The Kaiser study found children ages eight to 12 see an average of 21 ads a day and more than 7,600 a year.

To view more information released by the Kaiser Family Foundation click here, and if you want see how healthy you are click here to take a quiz.