Instruments for Assessing the Role of Commercials on Children’s Food Choices
Today’s children are highly exposed to media and hence also to food advertising. Various strands of research suggest that exposure to advertising may contribute to childhood overweight. However, previous research has largely been deficient in identifying the causal impact of advertising on children’s food choices. To address this, a toolbox of instruments related to the role of advertising in children’s food choice has been developed. This study presents three research modules that are designed to shed new light on the question of whether food advertising affects children’s dietary choices. The toolbox consists of three tools: (1) a children’s questionnaire on advertising literacy, (2) an experimental design on children food knowledge and preferences and (3) an experimental design on active food choice with food advertisement stimuli.
The development of instruments, the baseline data collection and the first follow-up work as part of the IDEFICS study (www.idefics.eu) were financially supported by the European Commission within the Sixth RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 016181 (FOOD).
We thank all families for participating in the extensive examinations of the IDEFICS study. We are also grateful for the support from school boards, headmasters and communities.
We are particularly thankful for the feedback received from the field teams in the participating IDEFICS countries, which helped us to develop and improve the instruments. We also thank the German AID Infodienst Verbraucherschutz, Ernährung, Landwirtschaft e.V. for permission to use their food cards. Finally, we wish to thank the children, parents and staff of the cooperating Danish–German school in Copenhagen, Denmark (St. Petri Dansk-Tysk Skole i København).
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