Obesity in children tied to food ads

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 10, 2008

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A new study has uncovered evidence that the high-rate of obesity among Hispanic children may be due, in part, to the large number of fast-food ads on Spanish-language television.

A report on the study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was released online Feb. 18 by the Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers screened 60 hours of programming between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. -- heavy viewing hours for school-age children -- on Univision and Telemundo. These two networks are the largest Spanish-language TV channels in the U.S., reaching 99% and 93% of Hispanics, respectively.

The study tallied two to three food commercials each hour, one-third of which targeted children. Nearly half featured fast food.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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