Childhood Obesity and the Media

Melanie Hingle, Dale Kunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article assesses the role played by media in contributing to the current epidemic of childhood obesity. Electronic media use, often referred to as screen time, is significantly correlated with child adiposity. Although the causal mechanism that accounts for this relationship is unclear, it is well established that reducing screen time improves weight status. Media advertising for unhealthy foods contributes to obesity by influencing children's food preferences, requests, and diet. Industry efforts have failed to improve the nutritional quality of foods marketed on television to children, leading public health advocates to recommend government restrictions on child-targeted advertisements for unhealthy foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-692
Number of pages16
JournalPediatric Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Childhood obesity
  • Communication
  • Food advertising
  • Media
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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