19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace

 

 

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
For Kids Born With HIV, Taking Needed Meds Gets Harder With Age: StudyBuilding a Better BackpackKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyExplaining, Easing the Horror of Mass Shootings for Your KidsFor Kids With Asthma, Allergies, New School Year Can Bring Flare-UpsAnother Video Game Risk to Watch Out ForOlder Parents May Have Better Behaved KidsAre Too Many Kids Prescribed Antihistamines?Childhood Cancer Steals Over 11 Million Years of Healthy Life: StudyFamily Home, Football Field Most Dangerous Spots for Kids' Head InjuriesMost Airplanes Not Equipped With First Aid for KidsPlastics Chemicals Meant to Replace BPA May Not Be Any Safer for KidsWhat Happens to the Children When Parents Fight?Health Tip: Giving Medicine Safely to ChildrenHow to Make Your Child's Hospital Stay Safer, Less StressfulObesity May Boost Odds for MS in KidsHealth Tip: Diarrhea in KidsOpioid Epidemic Doubled Number of U.S. Kids Sent to Foster CareSwimming Lessons a Must for EveryoneHow to Help When Your Child Weighs Too MuchHave Kids, Buy More Produce?Zika's Damage Continues in Children Infected Before BirthCDC Warns of Start to 'Season' for Mysterious Paralyzing Illness in KidsParent Who Listens Can Help Kids Thrive Despite TraumaHealth Tip: Ear Piercing For KidsReacting Against a 'Too Clean' World, Some Parents Go Too Far the Other WaySurvey Urges Grandparents to Lock Down Their Meds When Kids VisitCalifornia Took on Anti-Vaxxers, and WonHow Does Sunshine During Pregnancy Affect Learning?Surgery Helps Babies Missing a Heart Chamber Survive, But Problems LingerAbuse, Injury More Likely When Child is With Male Caregiver: StudyHow to Foster Your Child's ImaginationLow Vitamin D at Birth Linked to Kids' High Blood Pressure RiskHow Do Kids Learn To Turn Off Troublesome Tics?Meet 'Huggable,' the Robot Bear Who's Helping Hospitalized KidsWill Video Games Make Your Kid Obese? Maybe NotChildhood Brain Tumor Survivors Face More StrugglesFDA Expands Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Approval to Children Ages 6 to 12New Drug Combats Leading Cause of DwarfismHow Do Birth Defects Affect Childhood Cancer Risk?FDA Approves Victoza Injection for Children 10 Years and OlderHealth Tip: Preparing Your Child For Sleepaway CampTips for Keeping Your Child Healthy at CampA Simple Way to Help Prevent Child ObesityType 1 Diabetes Might Affect Young Kids' Brain DevelopmentHow to Put Limits on Your Family's Screen TimeChickenpox Vaccine Shields Kids From Shingles, TooWhooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades With Time: StudyHundreds of Young Kids Drown in Pools Each Year -- Keep Yours SafeWhich Dogs Are More Likely to Bite Your Kids?
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting

Social Media 'Influencers' Can Get Kids Eating Junk Food

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 4th 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a social media "influencer" hawks junk food, young kids may be easily won over, a new study suggests.

British researchers found that when children saw images of two famous YouTube "vloggers" simply holding junk food, they immediately showed a craving for cookies and candy.

Unfortunately, they were not similarly swayed by images of those online stars with healthy foods.

Experts said the findings point to the power of an insidious form of junk food marketing, in which companies pay social media influencers to feature their products.

"Most parents are surprised this exists," said Jennifer Harris, of the University of Connecticut's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. "They often have no idea how targeted their kids are when they're online."

Harris, who was not involved in the study, conducts research on food marketing to kids.

She said that in comparison to traditional advertising, it's difficult to study the influence of social media on kids' food preferences.

"There isn't a lot known about it, because it's hard to track what kids are seeing on social media," Harris explained.

So she said she was "excited" to see the new findings, published online March 4 in the journal Pediatrics. They show, through an experimental design, how social media images can immediately influence kids' food choices, Harris said.

For the study, researchers from the University of Liverpool created phony Instagram accounts that appeared to belong to two popular YouTube video bloggers.

Both vloggers -- unidentified by the researchers -- are young adults who are popular with British children and have 4 to 12 million subscribers to their YouTube channels and their real Instagram accounts.

Researchers then recruited 176 girls and boys aged 9 to 11 and randomly assigned them to one of three groups.

All of the kids viewed a handful of images from the mock Instagrams: One group saw images in which the vloggers were holding healthy food, like fresh fruit; a second group saw them holding chocolate cookies or other junk food; the third group saw them holding nonfood items, such as sneakers.

Afterward, children were offered a selection of snacks and told they could eat as much as they wanted. The snacks included candy, chocolate, carrot sticks and grapes.

Overall, the study found, kids who viewed the junk food images were more likely to munch on candy and chocolate: They ate 32 percent more calories from those foods than their peers who'd viewed nonfood images -- and 20 percent more than kids who'd seen pictures of healthy food.

In contrast, kids in the healthy-snack group were unimpressed by the images: They ate no more carrots and grapes than their peers did.

That may be because children simply have an "innate preference" for sugary, fatty, salty treats, according to lead researcher Anna Coates, a doctoral student in psychological sciences.

"Unlike adults," she said, "children are less motivated to resist food marketing, as they're not driven by long-term health goals."

Coates said it's important for parents to know this type of marketing exists.

"Food marketing embedded within a YouTube video is more discreet and targeted than other forms, and therefore, potentially more powerful," she said. "Parents could talk to their children about why they think social media influencers are paid to show these products in their vlogs."

Harris agreed that parents should talk about the coziness between marketers and social media stars. But she also doubted how much good it would do.

"Research suggests that even when kids know, they don't really care," Harris said. "What's most important to them is what their friends are doing."

Plus, she said, "when you're 13, you're not thinking about getting heart disease 30 years from now."

What about regulation? It's tricky, Coates said. YouTube, Instagram and other social media have minimum age requirements for account holders -- so junk food marketers can deny that their social media efforts target kids.

The reality is that children lie about their ages and create accounts anyway, Coates said. Or they simply view public content on the sites.

Surveys of U.K. children show that half of 8- to 11-year-olds use Instagram, while more than 80 percent of 5- to 15-year-olds use YouTube, according to Coates' team.

In the United States, Harris said, companies self-regulate, and they refrain from advertising on children's TV networks, for example. But kids are still awash in ads directed at a broad audience.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has advice for parents on digital media use.