By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A new University of Missouri–Kansas City study said that, for some kids, just seeing a logo like the golden arches or Little Debbie, can trigger the urge to snack.
While that urge happens to everyone, the study shows that children are especially vulnerable to the advertising.
Dr. Amanda Bruce with UMKC spent the past five years trying to figure out how our brain waves influence our weight.
"This front part of the brain here is the pre-frontal cortex," she said.
Bruce and her team selected logos from 60 of the most popular food and beverages, like Pepsi, Cap'n Crunch and Cheerios. They also picked 60 non-food logos, like the CBS eye, United Way and Mercedes.
The team showed the logos to a group of children ages 10 through 14. The kids reacted more to the food, but something else stood out from the study.
"The most interesting finding is that healthy-weight kids are showing greater activation in regions of the brain associated with self-control and inhibition and stopping behavior than the obese kids," Bruce said.
What that essentially means is that fitter children have more self-control. Bruce said those children are better able to shield themselves from the more than $10 billion in advertising by food and drink companies.
"I think it raises the question, and it's a difficult question, of how ethical is it to advertise unhealthy food products to children, especially when we see that obese children are potentially more vulnerable to this type of advertising," Bruce said.
Bruce said children have always been easily influenced, even in ways that might not be expected.
"In the 1950s and ‘60s, the favorite vegetable of children in the United States was spinach. That was because of Popeye. Even then we see marketing having a huge influence," she said.
Bruce admits she still has a lot more research to do, but said the findings could eventually help change the way obese children think and act. But, in the meantime, she said it all comes down to parenting.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with french fries and nuggets per say, but it comes in moderation. If kids are always getting what they want and getting unhealthy things, that could lead to changes in the brain," she said.
The study is published in the latest issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:01 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:01:07 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >
At least 51 have died in a storm the National Weather Service described as large and violent.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 9:21 AM EDT2013-05-20 13:21:47 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An Army wife who lost over 100 pounds while her husband was away in Afghanistan surprised the soldier Wednesday when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport. Misty Shaffer,More >
A soldier from Wilmington returns from Afghanistan to a big surprise: a new wife, a new house and a different child.More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:12 AM EDT2013-05-21 05:12:48 GMT
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Kansas City and counties to the south and east until 10 p.m. Monday. Sunday's tornadoes was one of several that touched down Sunday in the nation'sMore >
Authorities are assessing the damage after severe storms pummeled west-central Missouri near the towns of Warrensburg, Sedalia and Knob Noster.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:30:35 GMT
A possible explosive device was reported at a Kansas City charter school Monday afternoon.Police are on the scene at Benjamin Banneker Charter School at 64th Street and Rockhill Road. Someone spotted whatMore >
A possible explosive device was reported at a Kansas City charter school Monday afternoon.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 11:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:15:08 GMT
Editor's note: Because of the danger she still faces, KCTV5 has concealed the identity of the woman at the center of this story. She has agreed to use the name "Sue". Online attacks launched to destroyMore >
Online attacks launched to destroy the reputations and lives of former boyfriends and girlfriends is happening more and more these days. KCTV5 examines the painful and sometimes frightening consequences of cyber revenge.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:12 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:12:22 GMT
Passengers on a party bus ended up in the hospital early Sunday morning after a wreck. The crash happened about 3 a.m. on U.S. Highway 71 near Swope Parkway. An ambulance took several passengers to anMore >
A night out on the town ended with several people suffering minor injuries after a party bus crashed.More >
Experts say the officer who killed a Long Island college student and a home invasion suspect on Friday was confronted with a split-second choice.More >
As a grieving family prepared for the funeral of a Hofstra University junior killed by a police officer's bullet during a standoff with an armed intruder, some on Monday questioned whether police should have waited for...More >