A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine indicates that the annual $10 billion the food and beverage industry is spending on advertising foods to kids is working alarmingly well. The study found that four out of five kids preferred the flavor of foods served in McDonalds packaging as compared to the exact same foods served in packaging without the McDonalds brand.
By the time they are two years old, children may already have beliefs about certain brands, and by the age of six they can recognize brands and specific brand products. Not surprisingly, the study found that kids with more televisions in the home had stronger preferences for brands. The authors suggested this study strengthened the justification for tighter regulation or banning of advertising and marketing of high calorie, low nutrient food and drink, and perhaps a ban on all marketing that is aimed at young children.