Study: Advergames Influence Kids’ Food Choices

Online games used by food manufacturers to promote their products can sway food choices made by children, according to a new research report.

Food Industry website Flex News takes note of a study conducted at Georgetown University which found that foods suggested by advergames were craved by kids immediately after playing. The good news is that games pushing healthy snacks had a similar impact. 

Study authors Drs. Tiffany A. Pempek and Sandra L. Calvert interpret their work in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine:

[The findings] suggest that concerns about online advergames that market unhealthy foods are justified…

[Using positive food messages with] this kind of social marketing approach could tip the scales toward the selection of higher-quality snacks, thereby helping to curb the obesity epidemic…


Our results suggest that not only is there a market for healthier foods and beverages, but advergames can be used to promote healthier choices and eating patterns, thereby tipping the balance toward a healthier society.

In the study, 30 low-income, African-American children between the ages of 9 and 10 played a Pac-Man-like game. In one version, junk food was gobbled up. In the other, healthy snacks were the target. The researchers found that kids who played the healthy version of the game tended to choose nutritious snacks afterward.

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  1. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    They were complaining about advertainment games being sold through school book fairs. That Dairy Queen (was that right company?) one to be precise.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  2. 0
    Wormdundee says:

    What the fucking fuck? They really had to do yet another study to determine that…advertisements work?

    Wow, I guess all the thousands and thousands of companies producing advertisements really aren’t completely off their rockers!

    God, sometimes I wish I could be a researcher and do stupid crap like this.

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Not in Wisconsin, because they passed a law a few years ago preventing such lawsuits.  As for anywhere else, I don’t know.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  4. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    If I see an ad for Oreos after not thinking about Oreos for a long time, then it only makes sense that I’ll crave it after being reminded of it. Duh.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  5. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    So… advertising affects us and certain demographics are more affected by it?

    I think that has been obvious for a long time. I also think it has been proven by larger studies with better methodologies.



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