Food Marketing, Television, and Video Games

Elizabeth A. Vandewater*, Ellen A. Wartella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter explains the prevalence of obesity in American youth. The link between the use of electronic media and advertising to obesity in children is addressed. Many hold advertising responsible for childhood obesity because of its abundant promotion of energy-dense food, that is, products containing relative high proportions of fat, sugar, and salt. There is little doubt that food advertising is a major form of advertising to children, and that the vast majority of food advertising to children is for foods of poor or questionable nutritional content. The most common persuasive strategy employed in advertising to children is to associate the product with fun and happiness. Children are susceptible to advertising, and their food preferences, food choices, and food intake are shaped by their exposure to food advertising. Existing evidence implicates food advertising as a major mechanism linking television and other screen-media use with childhood obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940684
ISBN (Print)9780199736362
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • American youth
  • Childhood obesity
  • Electronic media
  • Food advertising
  • Television
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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