"Television has become a platform for programming children to want junk food," Ludwig said.
Dr. David Ludwig is a profressor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital.
According to a recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics, reveals that 76% of food products shown in ads promoting a sports organization sponsorship are unhealthy and that 52.4 of beverages shown in sports sponsorship ads are sugar-sweetened.
Through apparent coincidence, the NFL had the most youth viewership as well as the most food and beverage sponsors. The researchers pointed out that childhood obesity is fueled primarily through a poor diet, however the way in which food and beverages are marketed to them can contribute as well.
The food choices and diet of these youth can be significantly swayed in a negative way by the heavy sponsorship of unhealthy foods and beverages in sports.
Dr. Ludwig advises young children's television watching to be monitored and for adults to become an example of good health so that it may in some way counteract the advertisements.
"So parents must protect the home environment, he said. "We may not be able to control the external environment in the ways that we like, but we can encourage healthful behaviors when our kids are at home."
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