Fruits and vegetables are often displayed in the popular Swedish children’s TV show Bolibompa, but there are also plenty of high-sugar foods. A new study from the University of Gothenburg explores how food is portrayed in children’s TV programmes as well as the link between young children’s TV viewing, dietary habits and weight status.
Steingerdur Olafsdottir’s doctoral thesis focuses on the presence of food in the popular Swedish children’s TV show Bolibompa. Healthy foods dominated in the Swedish-produced parts of the show, whereas the other parts also displayed high-calorie and low-nutrient foods. Olafsdottir analysed all foods and drinks presented in about 25 hours of material broadcasted over a period of five months, along with the context in which the food items were displayed or referred to.
Cookies, candy, ice cream
Fruits and vegetables were shown quite frequently in the show, although usually more often in the background. One out of every five food items displayed was high in calories and low in nutrients, such as cookies, candy and ice cream. These types of food were often displayed actively, by somebody eating or holding it. Moreover, they were more commonly shown together with children than with adults.
‘This means that there’s potential for a more health-promoting approach in the production of TV shows for children.’ says Olafsdottir.
Exposure to commercials
Olafsdottir also studied the connection between young children’s screen habits, dietary habits and weight status. She found an association between children’s TV viewing, in terms of both time in front of the TV and exposure to commercials, and consumption of sweet beverages. Children whose parents did not limit their exposure to TV commercials had a twice as high likelihood of drinking sweet beverages on a regular basis compared with other kids.
‘This means that it may be possible to influence children’s eating habits via their TV habits. There was also a link between TV viewing and obesity and the likelihood of increases in BMI and the waist-to-height ratio,’ says Olafsdottir.
Increased likelihood of overweight among children
The thesis is partly based on data from the European research project IDEFICS (Identification and Prevention of Dietary and Lifestyle-Induced Health Effects in Children and Infants), concerning the dietary habits and lifestyle of 2-9 year old children. Eight European countries participated during the period 2007-2010: Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Cyprus.
Previous research has shown that TV and computer use may increase the likelihood of overweight and poor dietary habits in children. Different mechanisms behind the links have been presented: sedentary behaviour, eating while viewing and effects of TV commercials.
Read the doctoral thesis: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/34913
For more information:
Steingerdur Olafsdottir, email@example.com
Steingerdur Olafsdottir presented her doctoral thesis Television and Food in the Lives of Young Children at the Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg in April 4, 2014.
Torsten Arpi | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences