Parents, take note! Children tend to consume more calories after playing online games that involve food, a new study has found.
Researchers found that shortly after playing a game with an embedded food advertisement, children ate 55% more of the candy offered to them than children who had played a game with an embedded toy advertisement.
At least once a week, two thirds of all children of primary-school age will play an internet game that was created to draw attention to a brand, researchers said.
Most of these advertisements are for snacks and can dy. Only 6% of these children are aware that such advergames are advertisements.
Such games do affect their behaviour, said Frans Folkvord, from Radboud University in The Netherlands.
Folkvord tested the effects of such hidden online food advertisements on the eating behavior of more than 1,000 children. “In contrast to television, where the clearly delimited blocks of commercials can help viewers guard against temptation, on the internet, advertising is mixed with other types of content,“ said Folkvord. “The websites of food manufacturers contain games, which also offer children the option of sharing games with their friends,“ he said.
Increasing No. Of Children Getting Attracted To Hidden Food Advertisements
Folkvord found that children do not recognise the games as advertisements, even when brand names and logos are clearly visible. Moreover, it does not matter whether the games are about candy or fruit -children eat more candy after playing a game involving food.
During the five-minute break after playing the foodrelated games, children ate 72 more calories than did children in the control conditions.
Although Folkvord found no link between eating candy and having a higher BMI two years later, choosing the snack did have an effect.