More reason to bar marketing food to kids

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Research published in the Journal of Pediatrics says that obese kids are more susceptible to Big Food’s marketing come-ons, which should surprise no one, since they’re the ones (apparently) acting more often on those messages.

Ten overweight kids and 10 healthy weight kids were shown 120 logos, half of them to do with food, so their brain responses could be observed. From a synopsis:

Obese children showed greater activation in some reward regions of the brain than healthy weight children when shown the food logos. Healthy weight children showed greater brain activation in regions of the brain associated with self-control, when shown food versus nonfood logos. Overall, healthy weight children self-reported more self-control than the obese children.

The study was completed by Amanda S. Bruce, PhD, and colleagues from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The findings add further weight to the position that marketing junk food to children should be prohibited. Big Food tries to frame its $10-billion-plus-per-year expenditure — yes, just for food and drink to kids alone — as a matter of free speech. But 1 of every 3 American kids is obese or overweight, which raises severe, long-term consequences, for the kids, for their families, and for all of us who pay for health care in shared-risk pools — which is to say everyone.

Note: I get some of my leads from the broad and careful readers at the International Association for the Study of Obesity, which puts out a newsletter. You can see the newsletter where I saw this item, and sign onto the distribution list, by going here.