Study: The better a child can ID a fast food logo the more likely they are overweight

Jun 29, 2014

A new report links a young child’s knowledge of fast food and snack food logos with their being overweight.

Young children who could easily ID things like “golden arches,” ”silly rabbit,s” and “a king’s crown” were more likely to have higher body mass indexes.
Young children who could easily ID things like “golden arches,” ”silly rabbit,s” and “a king’s crown” were more likely to have higher body mass indexes.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A research team asked three- to five-year-olds if they could identify various advertising logos.

It turns out the young children who could easily ID things like “golden arches,” "silly rabbits,” and “a king’s crown,” were more likely to have higher body mass indexes.

Anna McAlister is an MSU assistant professor of advertising and public relations. She was part of the research team.

“The inconsistency across studies tells us that physical activity should not be seen as a cure-all in fixing childhood obesity,” McAlister said. “Of course we want kids to be active, but the results from these studies suggest that physical activity is not the only answer.”

It appears children who know their logos best learned about them while watching TV.

McAlister says the relationship between brand knowledge and BMI suggests that limiting a child’s exposure to TV advertising might be a step in the right direction towards healthier children.