Start Date: December 2012

ID #: 70550

Principal Investigator: Lisa Powell, PhD

Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago

Funding Round: Round 7

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Children are increasingly exposed to fast-food advertising and are increasingly consuming food from fast-food sources. Under the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), fast-food companies continue to promote fast food to children. Ads directed at children under the age of 12 usually include a variety of components featuring the brand logo, and a mix healthy items (i.e., milk, apples) and less healthy traditional fast-food items (i.e., hamburger, french fries). Using eye-tracking technology to objectively measure children’s attention to fast-food advertising, this study will: 1) examine the pattern and duration of attention to logos, healthy products, and unhealthy products featured in fast-food television ads seen by a racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of children aged 2-5 years and 6-11 years in Austin, Texas, and 2) compare the impact of fast-food ads which include healthy components, such as milk or apples, with those that present only traditional unhealthy fast-food products on children’s food choices. Results will assess which components of fast-food ads children attend most to and whether and how attention varies across sub-populations.

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